New Zealand has extended its lockdown as authorities investigate if shipping workers were the source of the country’s worsening outbreak.
Until the cluster was discovered on Tuesday, the nation had gone 102 days without community spread infections, with the only known cases all travellers quarantined after arriving from abroad.
The outbreak has now spread beyond Auckland to the neighbouring province of Waikato, with 30 people infected. One person is being treated in hospital.
Several of those infected work at a food storage facility in the suburb of Mount Wellington.
Officials are looking at the possibility that workers on a freight ship or at the port may have spread the infections.
The 12-day lockdown extension means that, in Auckland, public places — such as libraries, museums, cinemas, food courts, and playgrounds — must be closed and people work from home when possible.
Supermarkets and petrol stations can open, but other “close contact” businesses must shut.
Prime minister Jacinda Ardern said the decision to extend the restrictions was “in keeping with our cautionary approach and New Zealand’s philosophy of going hard and going early”.
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He is among 14 people in Victoria to have died in the past 24 hours,
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Global deaths have passed 750,000.