New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed on Monday that three new cases of Covid-19 detected in Auckland are all of the more infectious UK variant. Picture: Jacinda Ardern/Facebook
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed on Monday that three new cases of Covid-19 detected in Auckland are all of the more infectious UK variant. Picture: Jacinda Ardern/Facebook

UK coronavirus variant detected in New Zealand outbreak

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Feb 15, 2021

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PRETORIA - Auckland has been placed on lockdown after New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed on Monday that three new cases of Covid were detected in the city, Al Jazeera reported.

According to local broadcaster RNZ National, Ardern announced the new lockdown measures on Sunday as health officials investigated the new outbreak, saying they were right to take such precautions.

"However, we also know that based on that sequencing, we haven’t been able to link it to any other cases that we’ve had come through our managed isolation facilities and that tells us it’s unlikely, therefore, to have been some form of issue with our managed isolation,” Ardern told the radio station.

The Independent UK quoted Ardern as saying that health officials were trying to figure out the source of infection and were working on two main leads.

According to The Guardian UK, the prime minister said genomic testing had shown that the three community cases were the UK variant of Covid-19. Those cases were from a mother, father and daughter in Auckland.

The three-day lockdown includes closing public venues and banning all gatherings outside homes except for weddings and funerals, where as many as 10 people are allowed.

New Zealanders are being asked to download a Covid Tracer app and scan QR codes to record movement and who they pass by, wrote The Guardian.

However, schools will remain open for children of essential workers, but others were asked to stay at home, Al Jazeera said in its report.

According to Medical Express, the rest of the country has been placed on level two, which requires people to wear masks in public transport and gatherings are limited to a maximum of 100 people.

The medical publication said Ardern has been widely praised for her management of the pandemic, with the country recording 2,336 infections and 25 deaths.

ANA

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