Puzzling New Zealand virus outbreak grows to 17 cases

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Puzzling New Zealand virus outbreak grows to 17 cases
Medical employees take a COVID-19 take a look at from a customer to a drive by way of group based mostly evaluation centre in Christchurch, New Zealand, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. Health authorities in New Zealand are scrambling to hint the supply of a brand new outbreak of the coronavirus because the nation’s largest metropolis, Auckland, goes again into lockdown. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

A puzzling new outbreak of the coronavirus in New Zealand’s largest metropolis grew to 17 cases on Thursday, with officers saying the quantity will seemingly improve additional.

And a lockdown in Auckland designed to extinguish the outbreak may very well be prolonged nicely past an preliminary three days.

It was a turnabout from Sunday, when the South Pacific nation of 5 million marked 100 days with none cases of native transmission. For most individuals, life had lengthy returned to regular as they sat down in packed sports activities stadiums and eating places or went to college with out the worry of getting contaminated.

The solely cases for months had been a handful of returning vacationers who’ve been quarantined on the border. But then earlier this week, found 4 infections in a single Auckland family.

The supply of the brand new infections continues to stump officers. Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield mentioned genome testing has not but matched the brand new cluster with any infections which were caught on the border, though the testing has indicated the pressure of the might have come from Australia or Britain.

Auckland was moved to Alert Level three on Wednesday, which means that non-essential employees are required to keep residence and bars, eating places and most companies are shut. The remainder of the nation has moved to Level 2, requiring social distancing.

Puzzling New Zealand virus outbreak grows to 17 cases
Medical employees put together take a COVID-19 take a look at from a customer to a drive by way of group based mostly evaluation centre in Christchurch, New Zealand, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. Health authorities in New Zealand are scrambling to hint the supply of a brand new outbreak of the coronavirus because the nation’s largest metropolis, Auckland, goes again into lockdown. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

The authorities is due to decide Friday on whether or not to lengthen Auckland’s lockdown, which appears more and more seemingly given the brand new cases.

The excellent news for well being officers concerning the newest 13 cases is that they may all be linked by way of work and household to the preliminary 4 cases, which means there isn’t a proof but of a wider group outbreak. Officials say they examined simply over 6,000 individuals on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern mentioned the outbreak was a reminder of the trickiness of the virus and the way simply it might probably unfold.

“As with our first outbreak, we do have an expectation that things will get worse before they get better,” Ardern mentioned. “Modeling suggests that we will still see more positive cases. At this stage, though, it’s heartening to see them in one cluster.”

Bloomfield mentioned he anticipated that ultimately the brand new cases can be linked to any individual who had arrived within the nation with an an infection or a employee at a quarantine facility, airport or maritime port.

  • Puzzling New Zealand virus outbreak grows to 17 cases
    Medical employees take a COVID-19 take a look at from a customer to a drive by way of group based mostly evaluation centre in Christchurch, New Zealand, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. Health authorities in New Zealand are scrambling to hint the supply of a brand new outbreak of the coronavirus because the nation’s largest metropolis, Auckland, goes again into lockdown (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
  • Puzzling New Zealand virus outbreak grows to 17 cases
    Medical employees take a COVID-19 take a look at from a customer to a drive by way of group based mostly evaluation centre in Christchurch, New Zealand, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. Health authorities in New Zealand are scrambling to hint the supply of a brand new outbreak of the coronavirus because the nation’s largest metropolis, Auckland, goes again into lockdown. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
  • Puzzling New Zealand virus outbreak grows to 17 cases
    Motorists wait to take a COVID-19 take a look at at a drive by way of group based mostly evaluation centre in Christchurch, New Zealand, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. Health authorities in New Zealand are scrambling to hint the supply of a brand new outbreak of the coronavirus because the nation’s largest metropolis, Auckland, goes again into lockdown. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
  • Puzzling New Zealand virus outbreak grows to 17 cases
    Cars queue at a COVID-19 take a look at centre in Auckland, New Zealand, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. Health authorities in New Zealand are scrambling to hint the supply of a brand new outbreak of the coronavirus because the nation’s largest metropolis goes again into lockdown. (AP Photo/Dean Purcel)
  • Puzzling New Zealand virus outbreak grows to 17 cases
    Medical employees take a COVID-19 take a look at from a customer to a drive by way of group based mostly evaluation centre in Christchurch, New Zealand, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. Health authorities in New Zealand are scrambling to hint the supply of a brand new outbreak of the coronavirus because the nation’s largest metropolis, Auckland, goes again into lockdown. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
  • Puzzling New Zealand virus outbreak grows to 17 cases
    Cars queue at a COVID-19 take a look at centre in Auckland, New Zealand, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. Health authorities in New Zealand are scrambling to hint the supply of a brand new outbreak of the coronavirus because the nation’s largest metropolis goes again into lockdown. (AP Photo/Dean Purcel)
  • Puzzling New Zealand virus outbreak grows to 17 cases
    Cars queue at a COVID-19 take a look at centre in Auckland, New Zealand, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. Health authorities in New Zealand are scrambling to hint the supply of a brand new outbreak of the coronavirus because the nation’s largest metropolis goes again into lockdown. (AP Photo/Greg Bowker)
  • Puzzling New Zealand virus outbreak grows to 17 cases
    Medical employees put together to take a COVID-19 checks at a drive by way of group based mostly evaluation centre in Christchurch, New Zealand, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. Health authorities in New Zealand are scrambling to hint the supply of a brand new outbreak of the coronavirus because the nation’s largest metropolis, Auckland, goes again into lockdown. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

“At the moment we haven’t established a direct connection,” Bloomfield mentioned. “But as we find each case and do that thorough interview and investigation, that will help.”

Some of these contaminated work at an Auckland refrigerated meals facility, main to hypothesis the virus might have survived from overseas on chilled or frozen meals.

Bloomfield mentioned they had been testing the ability however he thought that state of affairs was unlikely and that the virus had probably unfold from individual to individual. Ardern identified that the chilled surroundings might have aided the unfold of the virus as soon as one individual had it.

The has precipitated hours-long delays at virus testing websites round New Zealand and a few panic-buying at supermarkets of important objects like and flour.

New Zealand first eradicated group transmission of the virus by imposing a strict lockdown in late March when solely about 100 individuals had examined optimistic for the illness.

Ardern’s management has been broadly praised, and opinion polls point out assist for her liberal Labour Party has surged forward of a normal election scheduled for subsequent month. But the resurgence of the virus has halted campaigning and raised questions on whether or not the election will go forward as deliberate. Under New Zealand regulation, Ardern might delay the polls for up to two months.


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Puzzling New Zealand virus outbreak grows to 17 cases (2020, August 13)
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