New Zealand Enters Nationwide Lockdown After 1 Covid-19 Case Detected

Singapore authorities are taking a cautious approach to reopening the economy as community cases decline. We have learnt from other countries that exercising caution is key in managing the pandemic.

New Zealand seems acutely aware of this. Hence, they, too, are approaching the delicate Covid-19 situation with utmost care.

On Tuesday (17 Aug), New Zealand announced a strict nationwide lockdown after reporting 1 case of Covid-19 in the country.

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The lockdown will begin on Wednesday and will last 3 days.

New Zealand to go into strict 3-day lockdown

Addressing the nation on Tuesday (17 Aug), New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the country would be going into a strict lockdown for 3 days.

This will be a level 4 lockdown for New Zealand, their highest level where schools, offices, and all businesses are shut. Only essential services will operate.

Essentially, New Zealand has imposed what we know here as a ‘Circuit Breaker’.

This comes 1 Covid-19 case was reported in its largest city, Auckland, reported Channel NewsAsia (CNA).

For Auckland and Coromandel – both places that the infected person had visited – the towns will be locked down for 7 days.

It’s the 1st Covid-19 case the country has seen in 6 months—the last reported community case was in February.

PM Ardern says lockdown is the best thing to do now

Explaining the decision for a lockdown, Ms Ardern said that while they do not know yet, they assume the case is of the Delta variant.

“Going hard and early has worked for us before”, she said, explaining that the Delta variant is an even more dangerous enemy than previous variants. It is possible that there could be more cases in the community, given the highly infectious nature of the variant.

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According to CNA, Ms Ardern said the lockdown is the best thing they can do now to “get out of this quickly”.

She explained it is always better to start with a high level of restriction and then go down rather than doing the opposite and risk the further spread of the virus.

Citing Australia’s struggles to contain the Delta variant, Ms Ardern stressed that New Zealand has only one chance to get on top of this.

Best to err on the side of caution

New Zealand’s swift response to the virus has been why the country was named one of the safest places in the Covid-19 era.

Kudos to Ms Ardern and her team for being bold in making tough decisions for the safety of their country.

After all, the virus is constantly evolving, and it never hurts to err on the side of caution.

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Featured image adapted from Unsplash and AFP via France24.