The coronavirus was found in a man over 50 who did not travel abroad. COVID-19 and three members of his family also fell ill, as well as six people who live in the same house with them. How they got infected is still unknown. Specialists are already tracking the contacts of infected people, the prime minister said.
In Auckland, the most stringent level of quarantine was introduced: people are prohibited from leaving their homes, except for work, to buy food, to the pharmacy or to play sports; schools, kindergartens and most businesses should close; meetings with people should be limited as much as possible.
Jacinda Ardern announced that while the quarantine will be in effect until Friday, August 14, but did not specify whether it will be extended if new cases of coronavirus disease are found in the city. According to Ashley Bloomfield, New Zealand’s chief epidemiologist, the authorities are preparing for this very scenario.
What about the coronavirus in New Zealand?
Until recently, everything was very good. On June 8, New Zealand announced that all people who were diagnosed with COVID-19 in the country recovered and lifted all coronavirus restrictions, except for strict border controls.
For more than 100 days, only 22 patients with coronavirus disease were found in the country – and all of them were New Zealanders. That is, among the local population, no one had COVID-19.
New Zealand has had one of the most severe quarantines in the world. According to Prime Minister Ardern, this is how it was possible to completely overcome the coronavirus in the country.
This approach has been assessed controversially, previously pointing to its devastating impact on the economy. According to the IMF, it will decline by 8% by the end of 2020. At the same time, for the entire time of the epidemic in New Zealand, 1540 cases of infection were recorded and only 22 deaths from coronavirus in a country with 5 million population.