New Zealand is no longer Covid-19 free. On Tuesday, the country announced it is ordering a three-day lockdown in its largest city, Auckland, after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed four new locally transmitted coronavirus cases.
“These three days will give us time to assess the situation, gather information, make sure we have widespread contact tracing so we can find out more about how this case arose and make decisions about how to respond to it once we have further information," said Ardern.
The lockdown comes while much of the world is praising New Zealand's remarkable achievement in containing the coronavirus. The country was praised for having no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 102 days.
Just a day before, the World Health Organization praised the country for its achievement.
"New Zealand is seen as a global exemplar...," said the WHO's Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
It's worth noting that New Zealand has seen only 22 coronavirus deaths since it first responded to the pandemic with lockdowns on March 23. The nationwide lockdown for its 5 million citizens was lifted on June 8.
As of August 11, there are over 20.11 million coronavirus cases worldwide. The virus has claimed more than 737,022 lives so far.
Unfortunately there's no vaccine or treatment available for the coronavirus yet. However, on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the country has approved a vaccine against the coronavirus.
“I know it has proven efficient and forms a stable immunity, and I would like to repeat that it has passed all the necessary tests,” Putin said. “We must be grateful to those who made that first step very important for our country and the entire world."
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