New Zealand calls for elimination of coronavirus with new single-digit cases

New Zealand calls for elimination of coronavirus with new single-digit cases

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.

People will be able to buy to take away eat and participate in low-risk recreational activities, including swimming at the beach. Up to 10 people will be allowed to meet for weddings and funerals.

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

New Zealand confirmed its first case of coronavirus on February 28, well over a month after the United States confirmed its first infection. On March 14, when the country had six cases, Ardern announced that anyone entering the country should be isolated for two weeks, which at the time was one of the most stringent border restrictions in the world. Foreign nationals were barred from entering the country on March 20.
On March 23 – when there were 102 confirmed cases and no deaths – Ardern announced that the country was entering “level 3” confinement. Non-essential businesses have been closed, events and rallies canceled, and schools closed to all children except those of essential workers.
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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. .

New Zealand has also introduced generalized tests, 123,920 carried out to date among a population of just under 5 million people. Ardern said on Monday that New Zealand had one of the highest per capita test rates in the world, with the capacity to process up to 8,000 tests per day.
On April 9, despite a drop in the number of cases, Ardern tight border restrictions so that all citizens and permanent residents arriving in New Zealand are required to spend two weeks in quarantine in an approved facility rather than at home.

CNN’s Julia Hollingsworth contributed to the report.


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