New Zealand announces return of COVID-19 after 102 days

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New Zealand announced its first locally transmitted coronavirus infections more than 100 days on Tuesday and issued a stay-at-home lockdown order for the country’s largest city.

After receiving global praise for its success containing the virus, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said four cases had been detected in a single family in Auckland from an unknown source.

Until Tuesday, the World Health Organisation had hailed the country as an example to others for having “successfully eliminated community transmission”.

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New Zealand reported just 22 deaths in a population of 22 million and had not recorded community transmission since May 1.

As a result, New Zealanders had been enjoying a near-normal lifestyle with no social distancing and spectators allowed at sports and cultural events.

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