New Zealand’s biggest city, Auckland, in lockdown for 3 days after 3 new COVID-19 cases from same family

Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks with media on February 14, 2021 in Wellington, New Zealand

  • PM Jacinda Ardern said Auckland will be entering Level 3 of New Zealand’s four-tier coronavirus system.
  • A border will be placed around the city’s 1.7 million residents who will be required to stay home.
  • Reviews of the measures will be held every 24 hours.
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New Zealand’s biggest city, Auckland, is going into lockdown for three days at midnight tonight after three members of the same family tested positive for COVID-19.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the news at a press conference today and said Auckland would be entering Level 3 restrictions of its four-tier coronavirus alert system.

She said: “Three days should give us enough time to gather further information, undertake large scale testing and establish if there has been wider community transmission.”

A border will be placed around the city’s 1.7 million residents who will be required to stay at home other than for essential shopping and work which cannot be done from home, the BBC reported.

Schools will also be closed apart under Level 3 apart from for the children of essential workers, according to The Guardian.

The rest of the country will enter Level 2 restrictions for the same time period, meaning that social distancing will be enforced. There will be a 100 person limit on mass gatherings, and face masks will be mandatory on public transport, the Independent added.

Reviews of the measures will be held every 24 hours, according to Ardern, who canceled plans to attend Auckland’s Big Gay Out event and instead held an urgent cabinet meeting in Wellington, the nation’s capital, on how to manage the outbreak best, NBC noted.

Read More: This Google leadership exec quit after months spent meditating under lockdown: ‘I could never go back to that lifestyle.’

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the three cases are the first since January 24. Genomic testing is being conducted to see if the family’s infection was linked to highly infectious variants.

Despite just one nationwide lockdown under Level 4 for six weeks in March, this will be Auckland’s third since August when Level 3 restrictions were imposed and removed by the end of the month.

The news comes as New Zealand is due to begin rolling out the Pfizer vaccine on Saturday, with border staff the first in line.

There are currently 47 active COVID-19 cases, with 44 in managed hotel isolation, Axios noted. New Zealand has a population of five million and has reported 2,330 cases and 25 deaths since the pandemic started, according to Johns Hopkins University

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Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand has bought so many COVID-19 vaccines that it will give free doses to neighboring countries

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visits a lab at Auckland University on December 17, 2020.

  • New Zealand has secured two additional COVID-19 vaccines from the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca and Novavax. This brings the total up to four vaccine providers.
  • The number of vaccine doses available to New Zealanders now far exceeds the population of five million people.
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that New Zealand will offer surplus vaccines to neighboring nations.
  • New Zealand will also offer $65 million in aid to support Pacific countries in getting access to vaccines.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

On Thursday, Jacinda Ardern announced that New Zealand had secured two additional COVID-19 vaccines. This means that the country now expects to have so many doses of the vaccine that it will be able to offer it to neighboring nations for free.

The Government signed deals with the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca and Novavax to bring in an additional 18.3 million doses. Both of these vaccines require two doses, meaning that over nine million people will be able to be vaccinated.

Prior to these agreements, New Zealand had already secured 750,000 courses from Pfizer/BioNTech and 4 million courses from Janssen.

Given that New Zealand’s population stands at just five million people, the country expects to have almost triple the number of vaccines required.

In a press release, Ardern revealed that spare vaccines would go to neighboring countries.

She said: “We now have agreements in place with four providers, covering three different types of vaccine technology and we have secured more than enough doses to cover our entire population plus the Pacific.”

Government officials announced that free doses will be provided to Tokelau, Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu, according to NPR.

Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta has said that New Zealand is committing $65 million of development assistance money to support Pacific countries to “access safe and effective COVID-19 at the earliest opportunity.”

An additional $10 million is going towards a global commitment to ensuring that lower-income countries get access to vaccines.

New Zealand has been praised for its response to coronavirus.

The country reports only 2,110 cases and 25 deaths.

On Thursday, there were 10 new cases reported. On Wednesday, there were zero.

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