New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has declared a three-day lockdown in the capital city of Auckland following the emergence of the first cases of COVID-19 since January. The fresh cases were reportedly traced back to a couple and their daughter in Auckland. It is not known yet if they were infected by any new variant of the Coronavirus.

In a televised address, Prime Minister Ardern explained the rationale behind a three-day lockdown period saying, “Three days should give us enough time to gather further information, undertake large-scale testing and establish if there has been wider community transmission.”

Auckland is home to approximately 1.4 million people out of New Zealand’s total population of 5 million. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 alert for the rest of the country was raised to level 2. News Zealand’s vaccination program is expected to start on Saturday, when the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be used to inoculate people.

New Zealand had successfully controlled the deadly Coronavirus outbreak in October 2020, after which various restrictions were gradually lifted as cases began to reduce significantly. But with the emergence of fresh cases, especially in wake of a deadly variant emerging in the UK and South Africa, New Zealand is taking no chances.

*Feature image by DRX via Wikimedia Commons.