Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city will be going into a seven-day lockdown from 28th February morning 6am onwards. The city's alert level has been moved to 3 while the rest of the cities will move to level 2 alert. The measures will remain in place for next seven days. The move comes after a local case of an unknwon coronavirus strain emerged.
Two weeks back, Auckland with a popuulation of 2 million was pushed into a snap three-day lockdown when a family of three were diagnosed with the more transmissible UK variant of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
As per reports, health officials, who could not immediately confirm how the person got infected, said genome sequencing of the new infection was under way. The patient developed symptoms on Tuesday and is regarded as having been potentially infectious since Sunday, officials said. The person has visited several public venues during that period.
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern said, "Based on the case, we are in the unfortunate but necessary position to protect Aucklanders again."
In Level 3 alert, the people will be allowed to leave home only for essential shopping and essential work, Ardern said. Public venues will remain closed. Restrictions in the rest of the country will be tightened to Level 2 restrictions, including limits on public gatherings.
New Zealand is one of the most successful developed nations in controlling the spread of the pandemic and has seen just over 2,000 cases of the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.