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New Zealand’s Covid-19 cases: Spike on day one of level four restrictions as national lockdown begins

New Zealand’s worst fears have been realized with a spike of new Covid-19 cases on the first day of the country’s snap lockdown.

New Zealand has recorded four new local cases of Covid-19 overnight, on day one of a nationwide snap lockdown hoped to squash a Delta outbreak.

The worst fears of health authorities have been released, with one Delta strain infection in the city of Auckland announced on Tuesday leading to additional community cases being detected.

Today’s new cases are all in Auckland and linked to patient zero. Among them is a fully vaccinated nurse at Auckland Hospital. All four have the Delta strain, health officials have confirmed.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said one new case was a co-worker of patient zero, a 58-year-old tradesman living in Devonport in the city, and three close contacts of the co-worker.

The infected nurse has worked at Auckland Hospital in recent days, Mr. Hipkins said.

On Wednesday, an email sent to hospital staff expressed concerns about a “hospital outbreak” and announced “several precautions” to prevent further infections.

The discovery of New Zealand’s first instance of a Delta infection, and the first local Covid-19 case in six months, sparked the reintroduction of challenging level four restrictions.

Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula are now locked down for seven days, while the rest of the country is in lockdown for at least three days.

“Going hard and early has worked for us before,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“While we know that Delta is a more dangerous enemy to combat, the same actions that overcome the virus last year can be applied to beat it again.”

Under level four restrictions, all but virtual workplaces must close, schools will suspend in-person learning, and businesses will shut their doors unless they provide a critical service or care.

“My very simple message (is), please stay at home,” the Prime Minister said on Wednesday. ”Stick to your bubble; stay home.”

The lockdown has plunged New Zealand’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout into temporary chaos, with the rollout suspended while authorities shift their focus to the outbreak. Ms. Ardern said vaccine centers should reopen within 48 hours.

Two dozen exposure sites have been identified, and authorities say patient zero visited several homes in his duties as a tradesman. He also went to a handful of Auckland bars while infectious.

Testing sites across Auckland have been inundated, with anyone showing even mild symptoms urged to come forward. The growing list of exposure sites includes pubs, cafes, a service station, and a real estate office. Originally published as New Zealand records four new Covid-19 cases on its first day of a nationwide snap lockdown.

Gemma Broadhurst
Gemma Broadhurst is a 23-year-old computing student who enjoys extreme ironing, hockey and duck herding. She is kind and entertaining, but can also be very standoffish and a bit evil.She is an Australian Christian. She is currently at college. studying computing. She is allergic to milk. She has a severe phobia of chickens

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