New Zealand locks down Auckland as four new cases of coronavirus emerge

Following 102 days of no new coronavirus cases, four new ones have emerged.

Updated: August 11, 2020 - 1:16pm

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New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, will shut down on Wednesday following the announcement that four new coronavirus cases had been detected in the region. 

The discovery of these cases breaks the small island nation's 102-day streak without any transmissions of the novel virus. 

Auckland residents will go back into lockdown mode, working from home unless they are essential workers, and closing all schools, bars and restaurants through the end of the week. 

The four newly identified cases are members of a single family, and include a man in his fifties and his young children. It is not known how they contracted the virus.

The order came from New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern, who said, "We're asking people in Auckland to stay home to stop the spread. Act as if you have COVID, and as though people around you have COVID."

New Zealand moved quickly at the outset of the virus outbreak to contain its borders and ensure that all travelers returning to the country quarantined for 14 days on their arrival. At the peak of the pandemic, New Zealand was only reporting 89 cases per day. 

Prior to this latest lockdown, New Zealand was one of the few countries in the world that returned almost entirely to life as usual, including packed sports stadiums, opened nightclubs, and crowded bars. The country never lifted strict control over its borders.

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