New Zealand will move into a snap three-day lockdown after recording its first case of locally transmitted Covid-19 in six months, suspected to be the Delta variant, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Tuesday.
“We have seen what can happen elsewhere if we fail to get on top of it. We only get one chance,” Ardern said in a televised national address, calling the Delta strain “a game changer”.
New Zealand recorded its first locally transmitted case of Covid-19 in six months on Tuesday, sparking efforts to trace the origins of the infection as officials pondered a response.
The health department said the case was identified in Auckland, the country’s largest city, adding “a link between the case and the border or managed isolation is yet to be established”.
It said ministers would meet later Tuesday to determine how to respond to New Zealand’s first community case since February 28.
“A hard and early response is the best tool to stamp out any potential spread and everyone in New Zealand is asked to stay calm, be kind and play their part while we gather more information on the potential case,” the department said.
Further details of the case were not released.
New Zealand has won widespread praise for its coronavirus response, recording just 26 deaths in a population of five million.
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