ANKARA 

New Zealand’s prime minister on Tuesday confirmed four local cases of the novel coronavirus — the first in the last 102 days.

Addressing a news conference aired live in Auckland, Jacinda Ardern said four local infections had been reported in the country.

The new cases were reported after 102 days with no registered local COVID-19 infections.

Authorities have since announced a lockdown in the capital to alert level-3 starting Wednesday afternoon, Ardern said.

A total of 1,570 coronavirus cases have been reported in the country, including 22 deaths.

Ardern said that under alert level-3, Auckland residents would stay home “unless you were an essential service worker.”

The rest of the country will be under alert level-2.

Ardern asked schools, public facilities, bars, restaurants and businesses to close from mid-day Wednesday.

Earlier, New Zealand had imposed a level-4 lockdown on March 25 and moved to level-3 on April 27. With active cases at nearly zero, the country moved into level-2 on May 13 and level-1 on June 9.

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