Jacinda Ardern savages Sydney’s ‘unnecessary’ virus mistake

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern used Sydney's worsening Covid outbreak as an example of what not to do, as she ordered the country into a snap lockdown on Tuesday.

New Zealand reported its first community Covid case in six months and while the strain has not been confirmed, authorities are assuming it is the more contagious Delta variant.

New Zealand will go into lockdown for three days starting from 11.59pm on Tuesday, with the exception of Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula which will likely be in lockdown for seven days.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced New Zealand will go into lockdown. Source: Getty Images
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced New Zealand will go into lockdown. Source: Getty Images

Announcing the lockdown on Tuesday, Ms Ardern said while New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world yet to have Delta in the community, they were in the position to evaluate what worked against it and what didn't.

"We've seen the dire consequences of taking too long to act in other countries, not least, our neighbours," she said in reference to Australia. 

"Just as we successfully stayed home and saved lives last year. I'm asking the team of five million tonight once more to defeat what is likely to be this more dangerous and transmissible variant of the virus."

The Prime Minister said the best thing New Zealanders can do amid level four restrictions is to stay at home.

New Zealand will go into lockdown for three days, while Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula will likely be in lockdown for a week. Source: Getty Images
New Zealand will go into lockdown for three days, while Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula will likely be in lockdown for a week. Source: Getty Images

She also said physical distancing is important given the transmissibility of Delta.

"As we're seen overseas, particularly in Sydney, unnecessary trips outdoors have spread the virus and then communities have not been able to get on top of it," she said.

Under stage four restriction in New Zealand, there are very few reasons to leave home.

"The reasons for leaving your home under level four include physical exercise in your neighbourhood, visiting the supermarket, dairy or pharmacy, necessary medical care, or getting a test.," Ms Ardern said. 

"If you undertake these activities. Please wear a mask when you leave the house."

Shoppers lineup to enter a supermarket in Auckland, New Zealand, following the lockdown announcement. Source: New Zealand Herald via AP
Shoppers lineup to enter a supermarket in Auckland, New Zealand, following the lockdown announcement. Source: New Zealand Herald via AP

All schools and non-essential businesses will close for the lockdown.

The last case in the community was reported on February 28. Since then, all cases in NZ have been caught at the border.

New Zealand, with a population of about five million people, has recorded 2570 cases and 26 deaths during the pandemic.

With DPA via AAP

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