New Delhi: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday put her country under strict lockdown after one new Covid-19 case, the nation’s first in six months, was reported in the city of Auckland.
“The best thing we can do to get out of this as quickly as we can is to go hard,” Reuters quoted Ardern as saying at a news conference.
“We have made the decision on the basis that it is better to start high and go down levels rather than to go low, not contain the virus and see it move quickly,” she added. The Prime Minister said the authorities were assuming that the new case was a Delta variant infection although this has not been confirmed.
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As per the decision, the entire country will be in lockdown for three days beginning Wednesday while Auckland and Coromandel, a coastal town that the infected person had also spent time in, will be in lockdown for seven days.
The schools, offices and all businesses, under level four lockdown, will be shut down and only essential services will be operational.
The last reported Covid-19 community case in New Zealand was earlier in February.
The decision comes as New Zealand has followed a go-hard-and-early strategy that has helped the country virtually eliminate Covid-19 domestically, allowing the people to live without restrictions although its international borders remain largely closed.