New Zealand races to contain new coronavirus outbreak

Elias Hubbard
August 14, 2020

He said 12 of the 13 new cases have already been linked to existing cases and to the Auckland cluster.

There are now 48 active cases of coronavirus in New Zealand, including 30 connected to the family cluster in Auckland.

"These two people tested positive after being followed up as close contacts from a family member who is one of the Auckland cases", he said.

The wider-Auckland area has gone into Level 3 lockdown for three days, while the rest of New Zealand is at Level 2.

Meanwhile, South Korea reported 103 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday, a big spike after recording almost 50 news infections over the last two days.

Officials are also investigating the possibility the virus could have survived from overseas on chilled or frozen food boxes and then infected workers in New Zealand, a scenario they consider unlikely.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday she expected the coronavirus cluster in the country to grow further before slowing down, as the Pacific nation reported an additional 13 new cases from domestic transmission.

New Zealand's 102-day run without any community transmission of the virus came to an end earlier this weekafter four people from the same household tested positive in Auckland.

Ardern was encouraged by the fact that all the cases so far were in a single cluster limited to Auckland.

"What has happened in New Zealand is a real demonstration of why we have to remain cautious", he said.

One line of investigation is whether the virus entered the Mount Wellington facility through the transport of goods from Auckland's ports. The source of their infections has not been traced.

This means that an infected worker at a frozen food storage facility could transmit the virus to unknowing shoppers, as the food is dished out to supermarkets across the country.

On social media, the school said it was "very disappointed" it wasn't informed.

They the island's 10 volunteer puna can not effectively manage supervised quarantine at the homes of returning travellers.

'One was an agency hire labour worker, who is not a direct employee, but works with us during busy times'. Mr Peters told the ABC. Some prominent local health experts suggested it was more likely the virus had been quietly spreading in Auckland for weeks, despite Ardern's efforts to eradicate it with an initial five week hard lockdown.

All the 600 families and staff at Glamorgan School in Torbay have been ordered to stay in self-isolation. "We just wouldn't have not found cases in community if it was lurking away in the community".

The government will decide at a crunch Cabinet meeting on Friday whether to extend or deepen the lockdown, a decision largely based on case numbers.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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