New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern put the nation into a three-day lockdown after the discovery of the first community case of Covid-19 since February.
The snap lockdown will begin at midnight tonight as authorities rush to identify the source of a single infection in the largest city Auckland, Ardern said at a news conference in Wellington on Tuesday. While genome sequencing has yet to be completed, the case is assumed to be the highly infectious delta variant, she said.
“Delta has been a game-changer, we’re responding to that,” Ardern said. “The best thing we can do to get out of this as quickly as we can is to go hard.”
It is New Zealand’s first nationwide lockdown since the initial pandemic response over a year ago. Under so-called Alert Level 4, all schools, public venues and most businesses must close and people are urged to wear a face-covering if they need to venture out. Only shops providing essential services such as groceries, gasoline and health products can stay open.
The case is an unvaccinated man in his 50s from Auckland who is deemed to have been infectious since Aug. 12. He and his fully vaccinated wife visited the nearby Coromandel region over the weekend. Both Auckland and the Coromandel have been placed into lockdown for seven days.
Because of those movements and the probability of it being delta, officials advised an immediate nationwide response, Ardern said.
“Going hard and early has worked for us before,” she said. “We want to be short and hard, rather than light and long.”
Speaking of which, Malaysia after recording a record-high 20 thousand cases per day has decided to allow shops to open up with approval from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI). The curve hasn’t even been flattened, and with ongoing political strife, who knows where all of this will end. Maybe it would’ve been better if we went in hard and short, after all, prevention is better than cure.
Source : Bloomberg