New Zealand reports 78 new cases of COVID-19


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WELLINGTON, March 26 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand recorded 78 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the first day of the national lockdown, bringing the total number of confirmed and probable cases to 283.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield told a press conference that 27 people have recovered.

Among the newly discovered cases, seven people are hospitalized, but none of them are in intensive care units.

Bloomfield said some of the new cases are related to overseas travel and previous mass gatherings, such as the World Hereford Conference in Queenstown, a wedding in Wellington, and a group trip to the United States.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said those returning to New Zealand from overseas on Thursday without a plan for isolation have been sent to self-isolation locations by customs and police officers.

New Zealand declared a state of emergency on Wednesday before entering a national lockdown on Thursday.