One Virus Case Puts New Zealand Into Nationwide Lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern put the nation into a three-day lockdown after the discovery of the first community case of Covid-19 since February, Bloomberg News reported. The snap lockdown will begin at midnight tonight as authorities rush to identify the source of a single infection in largest city Auckland, Ardern said at a news conference Tuesday in Wellington. While genome sequencing has yet to be completed, the case is assumed to be the highly infectious delta variant, she said. It is New Zealand’s first nationwide lockdown since the initial pandemic response over a year ago. Under so-called Alert Level 4, all schools, public venues and most businesses must close and people are urged to wear a face covering if they need to venture out. Only shops providing essential services such as groceries, gasoline and health products can stay open. The New Zealand dollar plunged more than one U.S. cent when the case was reported, falling to as low as 69.07 cents. Bond yields and swap rates tumbled as investors reduced bets that the central bank will raise interest rates at its policy decision on Wednesday. Read more.