Coronavirus Breaks Out Again In New Zealand After 102 Days Virus-Free
According to the New Zealand Herald, four cases of community transmission have been confirmed.
Ordering Auckland back into lockdown, Ardern said: "We are asking people in Auckland to stay home to stop the spread. Act as if you have COVID, and as if the people around you have COVID."
She said the new restrictions for the city are being temporarily imposed so that health officials can 'assess the situation'.
Encouraging residents not to panic-buy, Ardern added: "Please do not rush to the supermarket tonight ... there is no reason to rush out and back any purchases this evening."
Earlier today, a retirement village in Shirly, Christchurch, also went into lockdown after residents started displaying symptoms of a respiratory illness.
The Village Palms Retirement Community notified family members of the lockdown in a letter sent out today, saying: "We currently have several residents on our first-floor care unit who are displaying symptoms of a respiratory illness.
"We have forwarded swabs to the Public Health Department to test for Covid-19."
Regional manager John Amesbury said: "We have eight residents experiencing normal flu-like symptoms.
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"We've implemented the normal precautions - it's normal procedure to alert DHB and public health if more than three residents show signs of respiratory illness, or any illness really. It would be the same for gastro.
"There's nothing to suggest it's anything other than the normal flu."
A spokesman for the Canterbury District Health Board confirmed residents showing symptoms were being tested as a precaution.
He said in a statement: "The facility also contacted a local GP who has arranged for a number of people to be tested, as is the usual process during winter when a number of respiratory illness routinely circulate."
Since the global pandemic started earlier this year, New Zealand has been held up as an example of how to deal with the devastating disease, with 1,219 infections and 22 deaths recorded from Covid-19.
After reaching the milestone of 100 days without a single case of the virus at the weekend, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield warned that the disease can return at any moment.
In a statement, he said: "Achieving 100 days without community transmission is a significant milestone, however, as we all know, we can't afford to be complacent.
"We have seen overseas how quickly the virus can re-emerge and spread in places where it was previously under control, and we need to be prepared to quickly stamp out any future cases in New Zealand."
Featured Image Credit: PA