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The New Zealand lockdown was extended as the virus outbreak swelled

The New Zealand government on Friday extended a lockdown in its largest city as the country faces the first COVID-19 outbreak in more than three months.

The Auckland lockdown began on Wednesday and will last another 12 days after a group of 30 virus cases were discovered on Tuesday, The Associated Press reported on Friday.

New Zealand had gone 102 days with no reported coronavirus cases. Health officials are investigating whether shipping workers are the cause of the recent outbreak.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the lockdown would give authorities time to isolate infected people.

“Together we got rid of COVID once,”

; said Ardern in a speech. “We kept it out for 102 days, longer than any other country. We have been the world leader in our COVID response, with the result that many lives have been saved and our economy has run faster than almost anywhere else. We can do it. ” all of that again. “

New Zealand’s director general of health Ashley Bloomfield said health officials completed more than 15,000 tests Thursday. The results would have helped determine the general spread of the outbreak cluster.

“All previous cases are linked at this point in time. They are all part of an Auckland-based cluster, ”said Health Secretary Chris Hipkins. “And that’s good news.”

New Zealand has recorded a total of 1,602 coronavirus cases and 22 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

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