New Zealand's top health boss has rejected suggestions the country is being too soft on people who have tested positive for Covid, amid revelations a high school student now has the virus.
Cabinet Ministers will meet tomorrow to decide whether Auckland might be eased into alert level 2, stay at level 3, or moved to full lockdown.
Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield confirmed today a Mt Albert Grammar student in Auckland had tested positive - a person who was a close contact of the family whose members have tested positive.
He did not know if the student was one of the four probable cases announced yesterday. He said some of the original family who had tested positive were in quarantine - but not all of them.
"We don't round up people in New Zealand, Mike," Bloomfield told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking this morning. "We round up sheep, we don't round up people."
Tomorrow's Cabinet decision on the future of the lockdown will depend on factors including the extent of the new Covid-19 outbreak, the containment of known chains of transmission, and whether the source of infection has been found.
Bloomfield told Hosking: "We get closer every hour" to finding patient zero, and the source of the latest outbreak.
"We are working flat out to do the contact-tracing we need to do and trace back to find out what the source of this infection is," he said.
But Kiwis would have to wait until 1pm for the latest information on testing results and a full update. He rejected a suggestion he was playing down the cases and the possibility of community transmission.
"I don't think advising on getting Auckland into alert level 3 within about six hours is playing this thing down."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Bloomfield will today reveal the first trends from the push for mass testing, following the re-emergence of community transmission on Tuesday.
Auckland moved to alert level 3 at midday yesterday, inundating testing stations and supermarkets while others clogged up police checkpoints as they tried to flee the city before lockdown lite started.