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Coronavirus Return to New Zealand after 102 Days; Reimposes Restrictions

Coronavirus  Again Return to New Zealand after 102 Days; Reimposes Restrictions

New Zealand has recorded four new cases of Covid-19, after more than 100 days without any community transmission of the disease, the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has announced at a late-night press conference and reimposed restrictions in the affected area.

There are four confirmed cases of Covid-19 in one family in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. The family had not travelled overseas and the source of the infection is unknown.

She announced that as of 12pm on Wednesday, Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, would be placed in a restrictive phase of lockdown for three days.

“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.

Jacinda Ardern said ‘many questions remain’ about the four new cases of Covid-19 diagnosed in the community, after 102 days of no such cases in the country. Photograph: David Rowland/EPA

The latest case in New Zealand was diagnosed on Monday in a person in their 50s who lives in South Auckland; a second test on Tuesday also tested positive. The person had no history of overseas travel.Three other family members of the six in the house have tested positive for coronavirus; the others have tested negative.

This is significant because the country had not recorded transmission of the virus within the community in more than three months and daily life had returned to normal, except for strict border controls.

All 22 known cases of the virus before this announcement were among returning travellers quarantined in isolation facilities.

All schools and childcare facilities will be closed in Auckland from tomorrow, except for classes for the children of essential workers.

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