New Zealand has announced its first locally transmitted coronavirus infections in more than 100 days, leading the country’s prime minister to immediately issue a stay-at-home lockdown order for the country’s largest city.
Jacinda Ardern said four cases had been detected in a single family in Auckland from an unknown source.
“After 102 days, we have our first cases of Covid-19 outside of managed isolation or quarantine facilities… While we have all worked incredibly hard to prevent this scenario, we have also planned and prepared for it,” she said.
In a statement on its website, the country’s health ministry said today’s case is of a man in his 20s who had returned to New Zealand from Melbourne on 30 July.
The ministry said the man was in “managed isolation” at a hotel in Auckland and tested negative on his third day there, but tested positive for coronavirus on day 12.
He has been transferred to a quarantine facility in Auckland.
Pharmacies and supermarkets will remain open, but Ardern said there was no reason to panic-buy.
“Please do not rush to the supermarket tonight … there is no reason to rush out and back any purchases this evening.
Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield also advised aged residential care facilities to stop all visits, given how vulnerable older people are to Covid-19.