File: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said four cases had been detected in a single family in Auckland from an unknown source.
WELLINGTON - New Zealand's dream run of 102 days without locally transmitted coronavirus ended Tuesday, prompting a stay-at-home lockdown order for the country's largest city.
After receiving global praise for successfully containing the virus, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said four cases had been detected in a single family in Auckland from an unknown source.
"After 102 days, we have our first cases of COVID-19 outside of managed isolation or quarantine facilities... we have also planned and prepared for it," Ardern said.
As a result of the infections, mobile phones nationwide received an emergency text that set off blaring alerts and said "if you are in Auckland STAY HOME... and SAVE LIVES".
Until Tuesday, the World Health Organization had hailed New Zealand as an example to others for having "successfully eliminated community transmission".
It has reported just 22 deaths in a population of five million and had previously held off community transmission since 1 May.
But health authorities had repeatedly warned people not to be complacent and said a second wave of infections was "inevitable".