When a single positive Covid test result was reported in Canberra, Australia, earlier this month, the city locked down for a week. New Zealand has gone one step further, with the reporting of one positive test resulting in the whole country being plunged into lockdown. BBC News has the story.
The case was detected in Auckland, which will be in lockdown for a week, while the rest of the country will be in lockdown for three days.
Authorities say they are working on the assumption that the new case was the Delta variant.
Just around 20% of its population has been fully vaccinated.
Coromandel, a coastal town where the infected person had visited, will be in lockdown for seven days too.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the toughest “Level Four” rules were required – closing schools, offices and all businesses with only essential services remaining operational.
“I want to assure New Zealand that we have planned for this eventuality. Going hard and early has worked for us before,” she said.
The patient is a 58 year-old man, who is believed to have been infectious since last Thursday.
There are at least 23 potential sites of transmission.
There was reportedly a rush at supermarkets in Auckland, as locals anticipated a snap lockdown.
Officials said there was a need for strong response because of the fear of the Delta variant, and because there was no clear link between the new case and the border or quarantine facilities.
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