Coronavirus: New Zealand to ease restrictions after ‘stopping explosion’

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern has thanked people for helping th government in stopping the uncontrolled explosion of coronavirus.

new xealand coronavirus restrictions eased
image-flickr

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has thanked citizens for following the government’s instructions aimed at curbing the explosion of coronavirus in the country. She also announced an easing of social distancing restrictions.

Ardern’s government has been praised globally for the rapid response to the outbreak. The country will now move from ‘level 4’ to ‘level 3’ lockdown next Monday. The government will now allow educational institutions, some businesses to reopen, and local travel restrictions will also be relaxed.

The country has a population of five million people, and it has so far reported 1,440 confirmed cases of coronavirus with only 12 deaths, and seven deaths are linked to care home in Christchurch. Jacinda Ardern said, “We have done what very few countries have been able to do”.

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On Monday, the health officials confirmed nine new cases; the infection rate is also significantly falling. It happened because of the government’s effective response to the outbreak.

New Zealand: Response to the Coronavirus outbreak

On March 25, four days before the country confirmed its first coronavirus death, it announced a ‘level 4’ lockdown in a bid curb the respiratory disease from spreading. All the shops were closed, public transport was halted, and only essential personal movement was allowed.

On March 19, it also closed its borders with all the foreign travel strictly banned, and the restrictions are still in place and remain unchanged under the ‘level ‘lockdown.

Ardern’s government restricted the local travel, and strict social distancing guidelines were recommended. Non-essential businesses, public schools, and public gatherings were also banned.

However, under the new instructions, schools will be allowed to reopen, but students with exams will be preferred. In a limited capacity, some businesses can also reopen, to keep the economy running. The timeline of the new ‘level 3’ will be at least for two weeks, according to the government.

Prime Minister Ardern thanked the nation for following, unpleasant restriction and cooperating with the government as it was the only way to curb any further spread. She also announced a gradual decrease in the transmission rate, which is now less than half a person each.

Ardern added that the government expects the number of cases will decline, and eventually, the virus will die out. She said, “You, all of you, have stopped the uncontrolled explosion of COVID-19 in New Zealand,” she said. “I couldn’t feel prouder of the start that we have made together.”

 

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