New Zealand PM Announces Lockdown As Country Moves To Highest Covid-19 Alert
As countries around the world go into lockdown due to rising Covid-19 fears, New Zealand has become the latest to announce theirs.
On Monday (23 Mar), New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden said that the country will move into its highest alert level, according to Channel NewsAsia (CNA).
To top this all off, all non-essential services would be shut within the next 2 days – including schools.
New Zealand entering lockdown after surpassing 100 cases
The decision for a lockdown comes as the number of Covid-19 cases in New Zealand rose above 100 with 36 new infections in a day.
Speaking in a news conference, their Ministry of Health’s Director-General, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, said more than half of the infections in the country trace back to overseas travel.
The rest of the cases are close contacts of prior cases. Currently, New Zealand only identifies 2 of them as potential community transmission.
The nation’s health ministry has placed great emphasis on public health messages in light of likely community transmission.
Schools & non-essential services come to a halt
With the country moving into the highest alert level, schools and offices will close until further notice.
Non-essential services including restaurants, cafes, bars and cinemas will stop as well.
In spite of this, Ms Arden reassures the country that they have sufficient supplies in this crisis, with supermarkets and pharmacies remaining open.
Putting off campaigning for New Zealand elections
While an election is due for 19 Sep 2020, New Zealand’s opposition National Party (Nats) has decided to put its campaign on hold.
In asking all Members of Parliament to suspend any form of campaigning, the party hopes for every action be taken to stop the spread.
Simon Bridges, leader of the Nats, had called for the country to raise alert levels to highest, saying,
“We won’t regret moving quickly to stop this virus spreading. We may have regrets if we don’t.”
Global efforts to stop Covid-19
The past few weeks have seen not only countries going into lockdown, but visuals comparable to a doomsday scenario. From empty streets to mobilising militaries, this virus proves it is not be taken lightly.
The fight against Covid-19 is no longer any particular nation’s onus, but a global effort to protect people all around the world.
We hope that with the entire world concentrating their efforts on this, this virus will be defeated soon.
Featured image adapted from Women In The World.