Update: Auckland lockdown extended as New Zealand struggles with infections

The lockdown in Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, has today been extended as the country battles with new coronavirus infections.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has gone with her usual approach of “go early, go hard” which has proved to have been effective in the past.

She has said that testing shows the new outbreak is a different strain from the one previously that caused an outbreak earlier in the year. This suggests that it is new to the country.

Ms Ardern stated that the lockdown of Auckland, which is home to approximately 1.7 million people, social distancing measures will remain in place for at least another 12 days from Wednesday.

It was discovered on Tuesday that the country had it’s first case of COVID-19 for 102 days and Ms Ardern has acted swiftly in controlling it. Since then official tests have shown that another 29 cases have come to light.

She has dispelled rumors from health officials that the virus had been creeping quietly through the country, saying that testing has proved that the current outbreak has not come from border controls or managed quarantine facilities.

She stated that “this means it is not a case of the virus laying dormant in our country, it appears to be a new strain”. Just a few short weeks ago New Zealanders were celebrating when Ms Ardern appeared to eliminate community transmissions with a lockdown so hard that it forced nearly everyone to stay at home.

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