New Zealand records 1st virus death in 3 months
PIC: AFP

New Zealand reported its first death from the coronavirus in more than three months on Friday.

Health authorities said a man in his 50s died at an Auckland hospital where he was being treated for the virus following a small outbreak in the city that began last month. New Zealand has reported more than 1,700 cases and 23 deaths.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Friday that New Zealand would keep its current coronavirus restrictions in place until at least mid-September as a precaution.

Authorities had earlier lifted a lockdown in the city of Auckland following an outbreak there that began last month, but they continue to limit gathering sizes across the country and mandate that people wear masks on public transport.

"As with last time, a cautious approach is the best long-term strategy to get our economy open and freedoms back faster in the long term," Ardern said.

New Zealand reported five new virus cases Friday, two among returning travelers already in quarantine and three connected to the Auckland outbreak.

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