New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on April 27 announced that the nationwide lockdown of New Zealand would be lifted off from Level 4 to Level 3. The decision came after Arden stated that there was no widespread undetected community transmission and that New Zealand had “flattened” the curve. The PM further added that the country had managed to avoid a worse case scenario but it was necessary to stay alert and not let things spiral out of control.
“We need to have zero tolerance for COVID-19 cases”
Jacinda Ardern said “To effectively curb COVID-19, we need to have zero tolerance for cases to complete our goal of eliminating the virus at level 3. If you’re unwell, stay home. Get yourself tested if you have a runny nose, a sore throat or a cough. Let’s make sure we keep those testing rates up and continue with contract tracing, isolation and that’s how we will finish the job”.
New Zealand eases lockdown restrictions
According to reports, from midnight on April 27, restaurants, construction companies, schools etc. have been given the permission to re-open with an assurance that they will follow all social distancing rules. Businesses have been given the green light if they provide contactless service to its customers. Under the Level 3 alert, people have still been asked to work from home if possible. However, mass gatherings have been prohibited and venues remain closed.
A decease in COVID-19 cases
According to reports, New Zealand has witnessed a decrease in COVID-19 cases. Over the past couple of days, the Island country has recorded fresh COVID-19 cases in single digits. 5 coronavirus cases were detected on April 27 with no reports of a widespread community transition.
New Zealand reported its first COVID-19 case on February 28. On March 14, there were reports of 6 confirmed cases. Jacinda Ardern said that everyone entering the country will have to self-isolate themselves for a period of 14 days.
As the number of cases increased to 28 in a couple of days, on March 19, Ardern prohibited any foreigner from entering the country. The decision came after reports suggested that more than 30% of New Zealand’s cases were imported.
New Zealand’s public alert system
On March 21, New Zealand introduced a new 4 level public alert system. Level 4-Lockdown (probably the disease is not contained). Level 3- Restrict (High risk disease is not contained; measures may be applied locally or nationally). Level 2- Reduce (Disease is contained but the risk of community transmission is still there). Level 1- Prepare (Disease is contained but people should be prepared in the foreseeable future).
On March 23, the country went into a complete lockdown with 102 confirmed cases and zero casualties.
As of April 28, New Zealand has only 1472 cases and 19 casualties in a country housing approximately 5 million people.
Curated by Ruchit Rastogi