New Zealand confirms Delta outbreak as six more cases emerge
- Currently, New Zealand is under a three-day lockdown
- Our job now is to find any and every case, New Zealand's DG of Health said
- In total, New Zealand has reported less than 3,000 COVID cases
New Zealand reported its first community COVID-19 case in six months on Tuesday. It was later found that it was a case of the Delta variant. A genome sequencing showed that the case is linked to the growing outbreak in Australia, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.
New Zealand, a country of five million people, was put under lockdown after a COVID-19 case was confirmed. New Zealand health authorities later announced that they confirmed another six positive cases. All were linked to the first case. One of the new COVID positive people worked at an Auckland hospital.
This marks the first time New Zealand confirmed the presence of the contagious Delta variant in the community.
Earlier, the world health body had said that the Delta variant has reportedly been found in more than 142 countries.
New Zealand's Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield warned that the nation could see between 50 and 120 more cases.
"Our job now is to find any and every case," he said.
As the new outbreak halted the normal life of the people of New Zealand, the authorities are yet to ascertain how Delta infiltrated the community. For months, life in New Zealand has been largely back to normal.
Last year, to stem the spread of COVID-19, New Zealand had shut its border to foreigners. And a mandatory state-run quarantine for those who were allowed to enter.
This kept the Delta variant at bay for months. To date, New Zealand has reported less than 3,000 COVID cases and 26 deaths.
"Our case has originated in Australia. And now the job we have is to work through how and when it got here," Arden said.
She said that the country only needed to look at South Wales state, Australia. The Australian region confirmed a record 634 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.
It reported more than 9,000 local cases since June 16 - the time when the deadly Delta variant outbreak started.
Currently, New Zealand is under a three-day lockdown, starting Tuesday. Everyone was advised to stay at home, businesses are shut. However, essential services are up and running.