At a press conference, New Zealand reported one new case, four “probable cases” and one new death.
Ashley Bloomfield, Director General of Health for New Zealand, said the low numbers “give us confidence that we have achieved our elimination goal, which – it never meant zero but it means we know where our cases come from. “
He added, “Our goal is elimination. And again, that doesn’t mean eradication, but it does mean that we come to a small number of cases so that we can eliminate all the cases and any epidemic that could happen. ”
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the coronavirus was “currently” phased out but the country should remain vigilant and can always expect to continue to see new cases.
“So, as we said, elimination means that we may well reach zero, but we may well have a small number of cases again, it does not mean that we have failed, it just means that we are in able to have zero tolerance. Approach to have a very aggressive handling of these cases and keep those numbers low and disappear again, “she said.
Ardern said that in the past few days, the cases have been single-digit, calling the numbers “unbelievable” while sending sympathy to those who lost loved ones during the pandemic.
She praised the efforts of the New Zealanders, saying: “It’s been almost 5 weeks of living and working in a way that would have been impossible just two months ago. But we did it. we did together. “
The “level three” alert, which will take effect at the start of Tuesday, will allow companies to partially reopen with certain restrictions, notably requiring a physical distance of two meters outside the home.
Schools are to reopen with limited capacity and jobs like manufacturing and forestry will resume, although people are encouraged to work from home, unless this is not possible.
Public places such as libraries, museums, gymnasiums will remain closed and the measures will be reassessed in two weeks on May 11.
According to Johns Hopkins University, New Zealand has 1,469 new confirmed cases of coronavirus and 19 deaths.
What New Zealand has done to contain the virus
Employers were asked to allow homework whenever possible, public transportation was restricted to essential workers, and discretionary domestic air travel between regions was prohibited.
At midnight March 25, New Zealand moved to the strictest Level 4 lockout, with people saying not to leave the house except for essential exercises near the house while maintaining a distance of 2 meters. .
CNN’s Julia Hollingsworth contributed to the report.