Home World News Auckland lockdown as new cases emerge in 'virus-free' NZ

Auckland lockdown as new cases emerge in 'virus-free' NZ

by qualityeducation
Medical workers and members of the public are seen at a pop-up testing centre for the coronavirus disease in Sydney, Australia, on Wednesday. (Photo: Reuters)

New Zealand is reeling from its first virus outbreak in more than three months, with Auckland back in lockdown.

Australia’s Victoria state had its deadliest day, and more than half the respondents in a survey in Japan said the government there should declare a new state of emergency. Hong Kong had the fewest cases since the start of its latest outbreak.

In the US, Moderna Inc reached a deal with the government to manufacture and distribute 100 million doses of its experimental vaccine as part of US efforts to stockpile doses from promising trials. Russian President Vladimir Putin said his government has cleared the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine for use, even before clinical testing has finished.

Florida reported another day of record deaths among residents, while Texas topped half a million cases. Argentina had its highest daily death toll.

New Zealand’s run of 102 days without community transmission ended with the announcement on Tuesday of four new cases in a household in Auckland, the nation’s largest city. The government is now trying to stop the virus spreading and avoid the fate of nations like Australia, Japan and Vietnam, which after early successes in containing Covid-19 are battling its resurgence.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern put Auckland into lockdown for an initial period of three days as authorities try to trace the origin of the infections. Social distancing rules and limits on gatherings have been reimposed on the rest of the country, threatening an economic recovery.

Of the four new probable cases, two are work colleagues of a man who tested positive, and two are related to the household that one of the cases stayed at. 

Australia’s consumer confidence tumbled 9.5% as Melbourne shifted to Stage 4 Covid-19 restrictions, including a nighttime curfew. Victoria, the nation’s second-most populous state, recorded a record 21 deaths in a day from the disease and 410 new cases. While the state is effectively isolated from the rest of the country due to border closures, worries about renewed bouts of infections are eroding confidence nationwide.

Vietnam indefinitely extended the suspension of passenger flights to and from the coastal tourism hub of Danang under a stay-at-home order after a major resurgence of the virus that began on July 25. Vietnam has reported 866 new infections since the Danang outbreak.

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