New Zealand Prime Jacinda Ardern has ordered a nationwide lockdown after a single positive Covid case was reported in the country’s largest city, Auckland.
Auckland and Coromandel will go into level 4 lockdown for seven days and the rest of the country for at least three days – starting from midnight Tuesday.
Under level 4, people are asked to shelter in place in a “bubble” that only includes their immediate household or dependents. They can only leave the house to buy food or medical supplies, to access medical care or for socially distanced exercise.
abc.net reports: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said authorities could not confirm yet whether the case involved the Delta variant, but the potential risk meant they must act quickly.
“Going hard and early has worked for us before,” she said.
“While we know that Delta is a more dangerous enemy to combat, the same actions that overcome the virus last year can be applied to beat it again.”
Under the country’s toughest level 4 lockdown rules, schools, offices and all businesses will be shut down and only essential services will be operational.
Vaccinations will also be suspended for 48 hours to ensure vaccines can be administered in a safe environment.
The case is New Zealand’s first in the community in six months.