After announcing one new infection with the Coronavirus, the first locally transmitted since last February, New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, announced a general closure throughout the country.
Ardern said in a press conference, Tuesday, that the authorities assume that the new case is a “delta” infection, although “the sequencing of the genome has not yet been completed.”
Medical authorities need to examine the “genome sequence” to determine the exact viral mutation, and the usual Corona examination is not sufficient to ascertain the type of mutation, at a time when the most contagious “delta” mutant causes infections around the world.
And the case discovered in New Zealand is for a 58-year-old man who did not receive the vaccine, and his infection was discovered in Auckland, the country’s largest city, which will remain closed for a week, while the closure was imposed for three days in the country.
The Director-General of Health in New Zealand, Ashley Bloomfield, said that the man had traveled to other parts of the country in recent days, and “had a clear link to the border.”
Under the strict lockdown instructions, all New Zealanders will have to stay at home for three days, and only essential services such as supermarkets and pharmacies will be allowed to remain open.
The BBC’s English-language website said supermarkets in the country had seen crowds in the hours leading up to the closure.
Ardern announced a fourth-level closure, which is the highest, and this level of closure was last imposed in New Zealand about a year ago.
The Prime Minister said: “We are one of the last countries to have recorded cases of the delta mutant, which puts us in a position to learn from experiences abroad, and to know what actions are successful or not,” adding, “We only get one chance to prevent the spread, and we must take advantage of it. We’ve seen what’s happening in other places that have failed to stop the spread.”
New Zealand, which previously succeeded, through strict closures, in containing the spread of the Coronavirus, is one of the most successful global experiences in dealing with the virus.
However, New Zealand is slow to vaccinate, and according to data collected by CNN, New Zealand has fully vaccinated less than 20 percent of its population.
And cases of the mutated delta were recorded in Australia, neighboring New Zealand, which is currently struggling to cope with the spread of the disease, while more than half of its population is in a state of closure, some of them since last June.