WELLINGTON AFP, 4 Sept, 2020- New Zealand recorded its first coronavirus death in more than three months on Friday when a man in his 50s succumbed to the virus.
Health officials said the man was part of a second-wave cluster of infections that emerged in Auckland last month, ending a spell of 102 days free of community transmission in the South Pacific nation.
The death at Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital on Friday afternoon takes New Zealand’s death toll from the virus to 23, with the most recent previous fatality on May 24.
“I acknowledge the anxiety New Zealanders may be feeling about today’s news, both in the wider community and also for the family and whanau (relatives) grieving over this death,” health chief Ashley Bloomfield said in a statement.
The Auckland cluster emerged in a family of four and has since grown to 152, including three recorded on Friday.
It has proved difficult to eliminate despite a two-and-a-half week lockdown in Auckland that ended on Sunday night.