The number of COVID-19 cases in New Zealand has now swelled to 10, just days after the country went under a lockdown over a single community case.

Genome sequencing has shown that the new infection concerns the highly transmissible Delta variant, and is tied to a growing outbreak in neighbouring Australia.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a nationwide level-four lockdown after a single COVID-19 case was detected in a 58-year-old-man - the first community infection recorded in the last six months.

Auckland, where the case was recorded, will be in lockdown for a week, while the rest of the country will be on lockdown for three days, she had said. A level-four lockdown only allows essential services to remain open for business.

This is the first time the country of five million people have confirmed the presence of the Delta strain in the community. The variant has been reported in at least 142 countries around the world.

For the record, less than 20 per cent of New Zealanders are fully vaccinated.

Prior to the latest outbreak, life in New Zealand had almost returned back to normal, after the country shut its borders to almost all foreigners in the initial stage of the outbreak. Strict quarantine rules were also imposed on incoming travelers.

New Zealand has recorded less than 3,000 COVID-19 cases and 26 deaths since the pandemic broke last year.

The global coronavirus infection and death tally has surpassed 209 million, and 4.39 million, respectively.

Source & Photo source: CNN