New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the country has won the battle against the pandemic coronavirus and is set to ease its strict lockdown this week.
Arden says the country had so far managed to avoid the worst of the pandemic by adopting its “go hard and go early” approach to tackling the virus, but warned against complacency in the coming days.
New Zealand reported just five coronavirus cases on Monday and the government is not set to allow a partial reopening of the economy after several days of new cases in single figures.
The prime minister was quoted by The Independent saying:
“There is no widespread undetected community transmission in New Zealand. We have won that battle. But we must remain vigilant if we are to keep it that way,”
The country went on lockdown on 25 March, which saw schools, nonessential workplaces and social gatherings closed.
“Elimination means we may well reach zero, but we may well then have small numbers of cases coming up again,” She added.
The county has recorded less than 1,500 cases of Covid-19 and only 19 deaths as of Monday, according to data from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre.