New Zealand ponders extending lockdown as 2 new cases found

World News

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, center, and Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield, right, talk to media in Wellington, New Zealand Monday, Feb. 15, 2021. As people in Auckland adjusted to a new lockdown on Monday, health officials said they’d found no evidence the coronavirus had spread further in the community, raising hopes the restrictions might be short-lived. (AP Photo/Nick Perry)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A coronavirus outbreak in New Zealand has grown by two cases to five in total as lawmakers consider whether to extend a lockdown in Auckland.

The nation’s largest city was put into a three-day lockdown on Sunday after three unexplained cases were found in the community.

It was the first lockdown in six months in a nation which so far has managed to successfully stamp out the spread of the disease.

Many New Zealanders had been hopeful the lockdown would be short-lived.

The outbreak is of the more contagious variant first found in Britain, but it’s not yet clear how it originated.

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