New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Reuters

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Tuesday that four new cases of coronavirus had been confirmed in the country, 1 NEWS reported.

All of the cases are from community transmission and are in South Auckland, the site added. They are also all members of the same family.

It has been 102 days since the country's last case of community transmission.

According to Health Director-General Dr. Ashley Bloomfield, the first family member to be diagnosed was a person in their 50s from South Auckland, who had no history of overseas travel. Following that diagnosis, three of the other six people living in the home were diagnosed with the disease.

"We have been saying for some weeks it was inevitable that New Zealand would get another case of community transmission. This is a tricky virus," 1 NEWS quoted Dr. Bloomfield as saying. "We have been working on the basis that it could be at any time, and been preparing for that time. That time is now."

He added that "the health system is well prepared and the important thing now is that we stop the spread of the virus in our community."

"We cannot afford to let this virus spread."

Ardern added that more than one workplace was involved, and asked residents of Auckland to stay home for three days in order to stop the spread. "These three days will give us time," she explained.

In June, New Zealand lifted its coronavirus restrictions, declaring itself a "coronavirus-free" country. However, two imported cases were diagnosed a week later, prompting the country to charge its military with overseeing its borders.

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