New Zealand has imposed a strict nationwide lockdown under level 4
in response to a breakout of the delta variant, which was associated with the escalating Covid-19 outbreak in neighboring Australia, with more than 600 reported cases.
In Level 4, lockdown all schools, public places, and most businesses must be close. People are advised to cover their faces with masks if they must go outside. Only stores that provide essential services, such as groceries, gasoline, and health items, are allowed to remain open.
New Zealand detects six cases
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters in Wellington that six cases have been identified in New Zealand linked to the single delta variant. That was the country’s first community outbreak since February, with genome testing of the original case revealing a direct correlation to the outbreak in New South Wales, Australia.
In the nation’s largest city, Auckland, a 58-year-old man who had not been vaccinated tested positive for the virus. Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said that the individual had been to various country areas and had no evident connections to the border.
New Zealand has been commended for its response to the virus during the pandemic in the last year, including sealing its borders to nearly all foreign nationals and imposing stringent state-run quarantines on arriving passengers.
Because of this strategy, it has avoided the terrible outbreaks that have occurred in other nations, and life in the country had almost returned to normal before Tuesday’s announcement of lockdown. In a population of around 5 million people, New Zealand in the past had reported less than 3,000 Covid-19 cases and only 26 fatalities.
For more than a year, the country had not needed to issue national stay-at-home instructions, and life had returned to normal, with no restrictions on social events and restricted mask use.
According to Washington Post, the immunization strategy in New Zealand has progressed slowly, with just about 20% of the population fully vaccinated and 33% of the population vaccinated with one only dose.
According to researchers, the delayed vaccination deployment might leave the country vulnerable to another outbreak, particularly of the delta strain, which is proving difficult to contain worldwide.
Officials revealed information of unrelated virus cases identified at a border quarantine facility in Auckland, demonstrating how rapidly the Delta strain spreads.
According to the inquiry, three people were infected by the Delta variant. They were residing from across the hallway, and just after their doors were both open at the same time for about three to five seconds did the individuals contract the virus.
“It really does highlight how this virus is continually evolving and how vigilant we all need to continue to be,” says quarantine chief Brigadier Rose King.