New Zealand has finally claimed to have eliminated the spread of CoronaVirus by stopping the community transmission of Covid-19. The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern said the virus was “currently” eliminated. “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,” she said.
Ashley Bloomfield, New Zealand’s Director General of Health, said the low number “does give us confidence that we’ve achieved our goal of elimination, which — that never meant zero but it does mean we know where our cases are coming from.”
Around 400,000 people will return to work after the country shifts its alert level down a notch at midnight on Monday, but shops and restaurants will remain closed as several social restrictions remain in place.
New Zealand’s five million residents were subjected to one of the strictest lockdowns in the world in response to the pandemic, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern closing offices, schools, bars and restaurants, including take away and delivery services, on March 26. Public venues such as libraries, museums, gyms are still going to remain closed and the measures will be reassessed in two weeks on May 11. According to Johns Hopkins University, New Zealand has a total of 1,469 confirmed novel coronavirus cases and 19 deaths.