COVID-19: New Zealand extends Auckland lockdown


New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has extended Auckland's coronavirus lockdown by a further 12 days.


The Kiwis recently enjoyed 102 days without any community transmission of COVID-19.


That was brought to an end after a series of cases were confirmed in Auckland on Tuesday.


New Zealand officials say the first community transmission of cases in three months emerged from a family where four members tested positive for coronavirus.


 




All subsequent cases in the city are said to have been related to this cluster though it's origin is still being investigated by the authorities.


The country has four levels of alert for coronavirus restrictions, with the city of Auckland at level three, while the rest of the country remains at level two for now.


The 12 day extension to both alert levels comes as the cluster of cases rose to 29, not just in Auckland but around the country also.


The first cases of community transmission may be related to the family cluster but investigations point towards a retail worker potentially transmitting the virus to this household at the end of July.


Prime Minister Ardern extended the lockdown of 1.5 million people to a full two weeks so that the investigation can pin point the exact origin of the cluster.


Meanwhile, in a worrying development, two cases of the virus have been detected 200km away from Auckland on the North Island in the town of Tokoroa.


Prior to this latest cluster, New Zealand had just 22 active cases of the virus, all of which were detected at the border and forced into government mandated quarantine.