New Zealand has been hit with the second wave of the coronavirus disease with 13 new cases recorded within the last 24 hours.
These cases were acquired locally apart from one individual, linked to a cluster from Auckland where the recent outbreak started, as per reports from New Zealand’s Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield.
The 13th infected person was someone who came from overseas travel and is currently in quarantine.
These latest numbers bring the total active cases in the country to 69. In total, New Zealand has recorded 1,271 cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
New Zealand Health Minister Chris Hipkins revealed that the country’s COVID-19 testing had around 23,682 tested in a single day, citing such numbers as “unprecedented levels” following 102 days of being COVID-19 free.
Auckland is currently placed at alert level 3 – where people are required to work from home where they can. Officials “highly recommend” everyone who wear face mask on public spaces where they cannot maintain proper social distancing of at least two meters, as per reports from ABC News.
The rest of New Zealand is under alert level 2, where officials advise the public to “consider” wearing face masks when physical distancing is not possible.
Hipkins stated that while they could enforce mandatory wearing of face masks on public areas, the New Zealand government intends to make sure everyone has access to masks.
“The issue is a supply challenge, so we want to make sure that people can access a mask. We could make it compulsory and spend a lot of time on enforcement, but what we need is acceptance. If you make something mandatory you’re talking about a lot of people. My message to New Zealanders is if we’re asking you to do something, it’s because we need you to do it,” said Hipkins.