On Wednesday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern asked the countrymen to behave as if they had the coronavirus and cut all physical contact outside their household. Her declaration comes just before the country heads into a one-month lockdown at midnight.
A total of 205 people have been affected by the virus. The PM has declared a national emergency situation after fifty new cases were reported today. She delivered a simple message to the people, “stay home”.
“It will break the chain of transmission and it will save lives,” she said.
“You are not alone, you will hear us and see us daily, as we guide New Zealand through this period. It won’t always be perfect, but the principle of what we’re doing is the right one.”
The government has imposed self-isolation to everyone, will all non-essential services including schools, and offices to be closed for a month from midnight. “From midnight tonight, we bunker down for four weeks to try and stop the virus in its tracks, to break the chain,” Jacinda Ardern told parliament.
“Make no mistake this will get worse before it gets better. We will have a lag and cases will increase for the next week or so. Then we’ll begin to know how successful we have been.”
The country of 5 million people has fewer infections than many other countries . But the authority is trying its best to halt the spread. All the non-essential services, bars, restaurants, cafes, gyms, cinemas, pools, museums, playgrounds, libraries and any other gathering places have been totally locked down.
This is for the second time New Zealand has declared a national emergency situation. On 23rd February, 2011, the first national emergency was declared after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the South Island city of Christchurch, killing almost 200.