New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Monday that the country has eliminated transmission of the novel coronavirus.
Ardern’s proclamation came hours after Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield issued a press release saying New Zealand had no new active COVID-19 cases after the last person being treated for the disease had recovered. Bloomfield said it had been 17 days since the last new case had been reported, and therefore the first time since late February there are no active cases.
Bloomfield called the milestone “a significant mark in our journey” but said “ongoing vigilance against COVID-19 will still be essential.”
Based on the news from the health ministry, Ardern told reporters Monday that she was lowering the four-tiered lockdown system first imposed in March to its lowest tier, Level 1, removing limits on public gatherings and mandatory social distancing, while keeping New Zealand’s borders closed to international travel.
Ardern initially imposed the nationwide lockdown when the coronavirus outbreak first reached New Zealand’s shores, shutting down all economic activity apart from essential services.
She has gradually eased restrictions beginning in May, lifting bans on construction work and domestic travel, eventually allowing shopping malls, movie theaters, restaurants and schools to reopen.
New Zealand has had a complete of 1,154 confirmed coronavirus infections with 22 deaths out of 5 million citizens.
Shortly after the ultimate restrictions were lifted, New Zealand Rugby announced it'll allow fans into stadiums in unrestricted numbers later in the week for the opening games of the new season.
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IN ANOTHR ARTICLE
New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said that all coronavirus measures in the country will be lifted from Tuesday, barring border closure restrictions, as the virus had been eliminated from the country.
According to the reports, the country would move to national alert level 1 from midnight on Monday.
New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said public and private events can go on without restrictions, retail and hospitality sectors can operate normally, and all public transport can resume.
Moreover, New Zealand has no active Covid-19 cases after the country's final patient was given the all clear and released from isolation.
“Having no active cases for the first time since February 28 is certainly a significant mark in our journey but, as we've previously said, ongoing vigilance against Covid-19 will continue to be essential,” health department director-general Ashley Bloomfield said in a statement.
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