By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA (AA) – New Zealand reported 13 new coronavirus cases Thursday, according to the country’s top officials.
Addressing a news conference aired live from Auckland, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said all of the cases will be quarantined.
On Tuesday, New Zealand reported four local coronavirus cases -- the first in 102 days – forcing Auckland into a lockdown.
The latest cases, including children, are linked to these cases.
Bloomfield stressed the importance of moving the cases to quarantine facilities.
“It would help prevent spread between family members and limit the spread in the community from people coming to visit,” he added.
Ardern said there “wasn't any evidence at this stage there was a ‘super spreader’ event.”
Authorities imposed a lockdown in Auckland under Alert Level 3 starting Wednesday afternoon to stem the spread of the infection.
“The latest numbers showed the seriousness of the situation,” said Ardern, adding the situation “was being dealt with in an urgent, calm and methodical way.”
“We know a cluster grows before it slows, and New Zealanders should expect to see that happen again,” she said.
New Zealand has reported at least 1,589 coronavirus cases, including 22 deaths.
Ardern said Tuesday that under Alert Level 3, Auckland residents would stay home "unless you were an essential service worker."
The rest of the country will be under Alert Level 2.
The coronavirus pandemic has claimed more than 747,000 lives in 188 countries and regions since originating in Wuhan, China last December. The US, Brazil, India and Russia are currently the worst-hit countries in the world.
More than 20 million COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries exceeding 12.7 million, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.
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New Zealand reports 13 new COVID-19 cases
By Riyaz ul Khaliq