New Zealand coronavirus cluster grows with three new cases

A student from Papatoetoe High School in Auckland and the student's siblings tested positive for Covid-19.
A student from Papatoetoe High School in Auckland and the student's siblings tested positive for Covid-19.PHOTO: AFP

WELLINGTON (REUTERS, XINHUA) - New Zealand reported three new locally transmitted cases of coronavirus on Tuesday (Feb 23), as the cluster in its biggest city of Auckland expanded just days after authorities were forced to impose fresh curbs.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern lifted a brief Covid-19 lockdown in Auckland last week, saying the measures had helped limit the spread of the infection to a family of three.

However, a student from Papatoetoe High School in Auckland was reported to have tested positive for Covid-19 earlier in the day. Health authorities later said that two siblings of the student were also infected with the virus, and have asked everyone linked to the school to get re-tested.

Officials have also called on people who had visited specific locations to self isolate and call local health officials for advice on testing.

On Tuesday, New Zealand also reported five imported cases from Germany, Pakistan, India, Egypt and the United States. They are in managed isolation facilities in Auckland.

Auckland's nearly 2 million residents were plunged into a snap three-day lockdown earlier this month, after a family of three - two adults and a child - were diagnosed with the more transmissible variant of coronavirus first discovered in Britain.

As of Tuesday, New Zealand has reported a cumulative 2,363 cases, with 26 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.