New Zealand records 4 new COVID-19 cases after 102 days of no local transmission

Published: 12 August, 2020 10:51 IST | ANI | Washington

With the surfacing of new cases, the government has asked the citizens to wear masks while accessing essential services

A face mask-clad pedestrian walks in Wellington's central business district in on August 12, 2020. - New Zealand's dream run of 102 days without locally transmitted coronavirus ended on August 11. Pic/ AFP
A face mask-clad pedestrian walks in Wellington's central business district in on August 12, 2020. - New Zealand's dream run of 102 days without locally transmitted coronavirus ended on August 11. Pic/ AFP

New Zealand recorded four new cases of coronavirus after reporting no community transmission for 102 days. The Washington Post reported Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as saying that Auckland will move to impose new restrictions from Wednesday afternoon through midnight Friday as officials assess the threat and asked residents to stay home and take precautions.

With the surfacing of new cases, the government has asked the citizens to wear masks while accessing essential services. The other citizens have been asked to wear face-covering in areas where social distancing is hard to practise. The first new confirmed case is a person in their 50s who has no history of international travel, The Washington Post reported. After all members of the family were tested, three more were confirmed COVID-19 positive.

Following the confirmation of fresh cases, Ardern was quoted as saying at a press conference, "Act as if you have COVID, and as if the people around you have COVID." She further said that all travel into the city would be banned for those living elsewhere and people working at the country's border would be tested.

She also urged people to not rush to supermarkets as food stores and pharmacies will remain open. The people, except for those working in essential services, have been asked to resort to work from home. The Washington Post further reported that the temporary lockdown comes as a retirement village in Christchurch was forced into isolation due to respiratory symptoms being reported among several residents.

While the fresh cases in New Zealand have surprised all, Ashley Bloomfield, New Zealand's director-general of health, was quoted as saying, "We have done this before, and we can and will do it again."

"Together we have beaten the virus before and with fast action and by acting together we can do so again. We have come too far to go backwards," the Prime Minister said.

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