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New Zealand's biggest city back in lockdown

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics - Duration: 01:41s - Published
New Zealand's biggest city back in lockdown

New Zealand's biggest city back in lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Wednesday delayed a key step toward next month's general election, as the country was plunged back into lockdown after the discovery of the first COVID-19 cases in more than three months.

Gloria Tso reports.

New Zealand went over three months without a local coronavirus infection.

Now, emergence of new cases have ended that record run, and as its biggest city re-enters lockdown, the country is putting plans for its upcoming elections on hold.

On Wednesday (August 12), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she's suspending the dissolution of parliament.

It would have paved the way for polls to open next month.

"Parliament dissolving does mean that if we needed to convene parliament for any reason, we wouldn't be able to do so.

We've therefore decided it would be prudent to defer the dissolution of parliament by at least a few days, to preserve all options for, if needed, reconvening parliament, or if needed, for the purposes of the date of the general election." The news comes a day after Ardern announced that a family cluster of four cases had been detected in Auckland, New Zealand's largest city.

They were the first cases reported in the country in just over a hundred days.

On Wednesday there were lines outside the city's supermarkets and coronavirus test centres as Auckland moved back into a so-called Level 3 lockdown.

That only allows for essential trips outside the home.

The rest of the country has been placed under slightly looser Level 2 restrictions--as authorities scramble to trace the source of the latest infections.

The family had not traveled overseas and is in strict isolation at home, but one woman had traveled while she was symptomatic to tourist spots in Rotorua, on the country's North Island.

Officials say they're investigating the possibility the virus was re-introduced on the surface of cargo brought in from overseas.




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