The New Zealand government continued its closure in its largest city on Friday as the country faces its first COVID-19 outbreak in more than three months.
The lock in Auckland began on Wednesday and will continue for another 12 days after a cluster of 30 viral cases was discovered on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported on Friday.
New Zealand had passed 102 days without any reported cases of coronavirus. Health authorities are investigating whether transport workers are the source of the new outbreak.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the blockade would give authorities time to isolate the infected.
“Together we got rid of COVID before that,”
New Zealand Health Director-General Ashley Bloomfield said health officials had performed more than 15,000 tests on Thursday, adding that the results helped determine the overall spread of the epidemic.
“All the cases so far, at this moment, are connected. They are all part of a Auckland-based cluster, “said Health Secretary Chris Hipkins. “And that’s good news.”
According to Johns Hopkins University, New Zealand has registered a total of 1,602 coronavirus cases and 22 deaths.