New Zealand reports another FIVE suspected coronavirus cases as the country is plunged back into lockdown over fresh outbreak after infected family visited tourist spots
A fifth person has tested positive to COVID-19 in New Zealand just hours after the country was plunged back into lockdown.
Health authorities are also waiting the test results for another four ‘probable’ cases of coronavirus – three adults and a teenager – linked to a family cluster.
Auckland, the nation’s biggest city, returned to Stage 3 restrictions on Wednesday after four members of the same family tested positive to the virus the previous day.
Five suspected coronavirus cases – four probable and one confirmed – have been detected in New Zealand, hours after a family cluster sent the country into lockdown
The rest of the country was placed under Stage 2 restrictions – mandating social distancing and limits on the size of gatherings.
Tuesday’s cases were the country’s first in 102 days.
Two of the new probable cases are work colleagues and the remaining two are from a related household that some infected family members had visited, the NZ Herald reports.
The fifth confirmed case is in managed isolation and 200 close contacts are being tested.
Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield said the majority of the close contacts are from two work places linked to the family.
Health authorities also have a further 6000 to 7000 people to test in Auckland, Rotorua, Christchurch and Wellington.
Panic-buyers swarmed supermarkets and traffic was thrown into chaos across Auckland after Jacinda Ardern announced sweeping new lockdown orders.
Queues snaked around the block and car parks were overflowing at grocery stores throughout the city – even as Ms Ardern begged Kiwis not to congregate at shopping centres.
Tuesday’s new cases are all linked to one family and include a 50-year-old man and a young child.
Panic buyers flooded grocery stores throughout New Zealand on Tuesday night ahead of the lockdown on Wednesday
Contact tracers are working to identify the source of the virus after Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield confirmed the family had no connection to overseas travellers or the hotel quarantine program.
The nation had been the envy of the world for its handling of the COVID-19 crisis, with Monday marking 101 days without a single case of community transmission.
New Zealanders had been enjoying the return of their usual freedoms after an autumn lockdown proved effective in eliminating the deadly virus.
On Tuesday night, they were told those freedoms would be put on hold.