Selasa, 11 Agustus 2020

New Zealand lockdown: Panic buyers queue at Auckland supermarkets -

Supermarkets aren’t even closing but shoppers are still going nuts in Auckland after New Zealand confirmed four new coronavirus cases sending the nation that thought it had crushed the virus back into lockdown.

Despite New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern imploring people not to rush to supermarkets when she announced the return of coronavirus and restrictions in a press conference Monday night, people have not heeded warnings.

But this morning, queues almost a kilometre long have been reported outside supermarkets after a night of panic-buying caused some stores to close early.

When Ms Ardern last night announced Auckland would return to level-three restrictions and the rest of the country to level two, residents immediately started posting photos and videos to social media of long queues outside shopping centres.

The panic came as four COVID-19 cases had been diagnosed in one family with no known source.

In the most shocking clip, security guards can be seen trying to control the stream of shoppers forcing their way through the doors of supermarket Countdown in New Lynn. A child is crying as someone tells staff the woman needs food for her child.

The city of Auckland will return to stage three restrictions for three days starting from midday (local time) on Wednesday. The rest of the country will return to stage two restrictions for three days.

But even when stage-three restrictions return for Auckland, people will still be able to leave the home for essential services like buying groceries.

“Please do not rush to the supermarket tonight ... there is no reason to rush out and make any purchases this evening,” Ms Ardern said.

“You’ll even be able to get a takeaway coffee.”

The supermarket was forced to close shortly before 10.30pm, an hour and a half early, after it was overrun by the shoppers.

Ms Ardern said Aucklanders should use masks if they leave the house to access essential services but many were not wearing them tonight or following social distancing measures.

“It was chaos. There was traffic blocking all of the roads leading to the supermarket, the parking lot was completely full and there were cars queued to get into the parking lot,” one Greenland shopper told the NZ Herald.

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Countdown’s website was also overwhelmed, warning of “very high demand” on its online shopping service.

New Zealand had been virus free for 102 days until the family cluster was announced last night.

The cases have no known source.

The first case confirmed was a person in their 50s who presented to their GP with symptoms yesterday.

Authorities sprung into action and tested the rest of the family.

Of the six other family members tested, three were positive and the others returned negative results.

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2020-08-11 21:51:01Z

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