New Zealand has reported some concerning coronavirus developments today, with the country recording 14 new cases of COVID-19.
It’s understood 13 of the new cases were through community transmission and linked to the initial family of four who tested positive in South Auckland on Monday, breaking New Zealand’s 102 day long streak without any local transmission.
A returned traveller from the Philippines, a woman in her 30s, has also been diagnosed with the virus and remains in managed isolation.
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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said unfortunately she always expected the family cluster to grow.
“As we all learnt from our first experience with COVID, once you identify a cluster, it grows before it slows,” she said.
“We should expect that to be the case here… The fact that we are in level three in Auckland is giving us a helping hand.
Since the reemergence of coronavirus in Auckland, the city has been placed into Stage 3 restrictions, while the rest of the country remains in Stage 2.
Prime Minister Ardern told reporters that a decision has not yet been made on whether the tougher lockdown will be expanded to the rest of the country.
“We want to make a decision based on whether we have cases in a cluster or whether we can see cases not linked to a cluster,” she said.
“We’ll have a wide range of testing from the community before we make that decision.”
Worryingly, it’s been revealed one of the positive cases attended an aged care facility in Waikato the day before they started showing symptoms.
All of the staff and residents at the aged care home will now undergo testing, while all of today’s new cases have been forced into quarantine at a special facility.
“This is different to how cases were managed at previous levels, and it shows how serious we are,” New Zealand Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said.
While the source of the outbreak has not yet been confirmed, health authorities in New Zealand are confident it may have started at Americold’s Auckland cool storage facility.