New Zealand is scrambling to trace the source of the coronavirus after reporting 14 new cases on Thursday. The country is shocked after the discovery of four infected family members in Auckland. The country had been going smoothly without a new case of Covid-19 for more than 3 months.
On Thursday, New Zealand announced that there were 13 new cases in the community and one overseas arrival who was in quarantine, bringing the total number of active cases to 36.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a televised media conference “We can see the seriousness of the situation we are in,”. “It’s being dealt with in an urgent but calm and methodical way.”
Restrictions and Safety Measures in New Zealand
As an early response to the pandemic, Ardern reimposed tight restrictions in Auckland and social distancing measures across the rest of the country on Wednesday. She was praised for her immediate response to the new cases.
Ardern said, “Once again we are reminded of how tricky this virus is and how easily it can spread.” She also warned “things will get worse before they get better”’ and more cases were likely to be reported in the coming days.
Three more people at the refrigerator storage facility, where one of the family members worked had tested positive for COVID-19. Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said health officials were getting “closer every hour” to finding the source of the new outbreak. “We are working flat out to do the contact-tracing we need to do and trace back to find out what the sources of this infection is,” Bloomfield told Newstalk ZB radio.
Ardern said that it was a positive sign that all new 13 cases were linked back to the infected family.
With an election scheduled just weeks away, Ardern was facing criticism from the major opposition party for her decision to resume lockdown measures.