New Zealand has 13 new cases of coronavirus – as the "embarrassed" Pacific Islander family at the center of the outbreak show they are being used to accidentally spread viruses
The family of Pacific islanders, which started a second wave of coronavirus in New Zealand, has been inundated with online abuse in recent days as new infections keep breaking out.
New Zealand recorded 13 new cases on Sunday, five days after an Auckland family tested positive for a third stage lockdown across the city.
All but one of the 13 most recent cases are linked to the one Auckland cluster that has grown to 49.
The other was a quarantined child who arrived from Afghanistan earlier this month.
Pacific health leader Dr. Colin Tukuitonga has been in regular contact with the family at the center of the cluster since the positive test on Tuesday.
The family, consisting of three adults and one young child, is currently in quarantine in an isolation facility where they are extremely concerned about the horrific comments and rumors that have been published about them for inadvertently spreading the virus.
13 new cases were recorded in New Zealand on Sunday. A woman is pictured in downtown Auckland on Saturday night as the city is under third level restrictions
There are also rumors that a young woman sneaked the family into a managed isolation facility that officials have since insisted on being fake.
& # 39; It's not easy. The comments on social media have gotten nasty, ”said Dr. Tukuitonga to the New Zealand Herald.
"They were shocked that this had happened and they were a little embarrassed that it had happened to them."
The family was New Zealand's first locally transmitted case of coronavirus in 102 days.
The cluster was triggered by a worker at a frozen warehouse who passed the virus on to three family members who spread across the community.
Dr. Colin Tukuitonga (pictured) said the family at the center of the Auckland outbreak are grappling with the heinous comments and abuse posted on social media
New Zealand Health Minister Chris Hipkins issued stern warnings to online trolls targeting the family.
"At a time when we are battling a pandemic, this type of behavior is supposed to cause panic … and is totally unacceptable," he told reporters.
"It is clear that there are people who push it hard and my message to them is to stop."
He urged Kiwis to only get information from official sources and think twice before sharing unverified information
"Please treat the information you receive on social media as a rumor," said Ms. Hipkins.
The outbreak in Auckland triggered stage two restrictions in the rest of the country. Kiwis are pictured social distancing as they wait to enter the Te Papa National Museum in Wellington on Saturday
Of the 69 active cases in New Zealand, 49 are from the Auckland community outbreak.
The other 20 were detected in managed isolation and quarantine facilities.
Auckland is in its third phase through August 26, when residents can only leave their homes for essential purposes.
The rest of New Zealand remains in the second phase.
More than 63,231 COVID-19 tests have been carried out in the past three days, which the minister described as an "exceptional effort".
At least 13 coronavirus cases have been linked to the Americold cold store (pictured above), where an employee tested positive for the coronavirus following an illness on July 31
Auckland is in its third phase after a family of four tested positive on Tuesday. The police are shown patrolling vehicles at a COVID-19 checkpoint on Friday
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