13 new cases of coronavirus reported in New Zealand

Aukland remains in lockdown today after the New Zealand government confirmed 13 new cases of coronavirus there. 
13 new cases of coronavirus reported in New Zealand
New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern: 'As we all learnt from our first experience with Covid, once you identify a cluster, it grows before it slows, and we should expect that to be the case here.' Picture: TVNZ/AP

New Zealand's biggest city remains in lockdown today after the New Zealand government confirmed 13 new cases of coronavirus there. 

An initial three-day lockdown was imposed in Auckland on Wednesday, with the next steps due to be announced tomorrow. 

"We can see the seriousness of the situation we are in," New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a news conference earlier today.

"It’s being dealt with in an urgent but calm and methodical way.

“The fact that we are in level-three in Auckland is giving us a helping hand, it means that when we are contacting people they, of course, are already observing restrictions that limit the spread of the virus."

The detection of four infected members of the same family on Tuesday represented the first new recorded cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand for 102 days.

All the family members are now in quarantine, and New Zealand health officials say some of their contacts may also be quarantined. 

“Going hard and early is still the best course of action, and we all have a part to play in that," Ms Ardern said. 

"But once again, we are reminded of how tricky this virus is, and how easily it can spread.

Police man a road block on the outskirts of Auckland. New Zealand's largest city moved to Covid-19 Alert Level 3, yesterday. Picture: Dean Purcell/New Zealand/AP
Police man a road block on the outskirts of Auckland. New Zealand's largest city moved to Covid-19 Alert Level 3, yesterday. Picture: Dean Purcell/New Zealand/AP

"We know that limiting people to people contact really helps stop the spread."

One overseas arrival into the country is currently in quarantine, bringing the total number of active cases in New Zealand to 36.

New Zealand has received praise internationally for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, but Ms Ardern has said that she expects the cluster to grow further.

As we all learnt from our first experience with Covid, once you identify a cluster, it grows before it slows, and we should expect that to be the case here. 

"Finally, I acknowledge the anxiety of some New Zealanders, as we are moving at pace to stamp out Covid in our community and protect the health of all New Zealanders, but the pace and the speed should also act as an extra layer of reassurance. 

"Within six hours of this case, and notification amongst health officials, we were informing people of the need to move alert levels, and in less than 24 hours, Auckland was at level three.

"We have a plan, we have acted quickly, and now we'll continue to roll out that plan," she added.

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