New Zealand on Friday, September 4, recorded its first coronavirus death in more than three months.
According to the health officials, the man who succumbed to the virus was in his 50s and died at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland. He has been reported to be a part of a second-wave cluster of infections which surfaced in the city in August and was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) for the last few days.
With this fatality, the coronavirus related death toll in New Zealand has risen to 23.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that current restrictions to contain and curb the transmission of the virus will stay in place in the South Pacific nation until at least mid-September.
"I acknowledge the anxiety New Zealanders may be feeling about today's news, both in the wider community and also for the family and whanau (relatives) grieving over this death," stated Health Chief Ashley Bloomfield, reported Times Now.
"Our thoughts are with his family and community at this time of loss and grief," Bloomfield added.
The Auckland cluster reportedly emerged in a family of four and has since grown to 152, including three recorded on Friday.
The Health Chief also stated they have recognised that further deaths linked to the novel coronavirus were possible and the incident stresses upon the need to stay vigilant against COVID-19.
While Aucklanders were allowed out of their homes this week, the government limited non-school social gatherings in the city of 1.5 million to 10 people and made masks compulsory on public transport nationwide.