Tuesday, March 2, 2021

New Zealand is no longer free from Covid-19 after four new cases

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New Zealand is no longer virus free, with four cases confirmed from one household in Auckland.

The cases have no known source and authorities are working to figure out where the family contracted coronavirus.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Auckland would return to stage three restrictions for three days starting from midday tomorrow.

The rest of the country will return to stage two for thee days until midnight Friday.

“I know this information will be difficult to receive,” she said.

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“We had all hoped not to find ourselves in this position again but we had also prepared for it.”

Ms Ardern said people in Auckland would have to wear a mask accessing essential services and the rest of the country when social distancing was not possible.

The cases had no connection to overseas travel.

The first case confirmed was a person in their 50s who presented to their GP with symptoms yesterday.

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Health Ministry chief executive Dr Ashley Bloomfield said authorities sprung into action and tested the rest of the family.

Of the six other family members tested, three were positive and the others returned negative results.

He said close contacts were being tested and had gone into self-isolation. Casual contacts have also gone into self-isolation.

Dr Bloomfield said it was inevitable the virus was going to return to the country.

“This is a tricky virus,” he said.

“The cases are a wake up call for any complacency that may have set in. The important thing now is that we stop the spread of the virus in the community. We need to stamp it out.”

Ms Ardern said more than one workplace was involved and it was likely it wasn’t just one suburb alone in Auckland affected.

She said the most important thing to do was find the origin of the cases.

“There is no immediate link we have found, as yet to a managed isolation facility, and there is no connection to a high risk person, such as those who work at the border,” she said.

Workers at the border are also being tested.

RETURN OF RESTRICTIONS

Those in Auckland will have to work from home unless they are an essential service worker.

Schools will only open for students who have parents who are essential workers.

Public facilities, bars, restaurants and businesses must close by midday tomorrow.

People can only leave the house for essential services. Gatherings of more than 10 people are restricted.

For the rest of the country, mass gatherings will be limited to 100 people.

Ms Ardern said the three-day restrictions would give authorities time to assess the situation.

“We’re asking people in Auckland to stay home to stop the spread,” she said.

“Act as if you have COVID, and as though people around you have COVID. “We have come to far to go backwards.”

 

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Source: News.com.au

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