New Zealand records first day with no new Covid-19 cases since before lockdown

4 May, 2020

New Zealand has recorded its first day of no new cases of Covid-19 since a stringent national lockdown began more than one month ago.

The public has been engrossed by the daily release of case numbers by the health ministry each afternoon – especially as a deadline looms for the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, to decide whether the country’s lockdown rules will ease further next Monday.

One week into level-3 restrictions, however, officials sounded a cautious note as breaches of the shutdown rules continued to rise.

“It is cause for celebration … It is important that we reflect that it is symbolic of the effort that everybody has put in,” said Ashley Bloomfield, New Zealand’s director-general of health, as he announced zero new cases of the coronavirus on Monday. “I don’t want to downplay that but once again, we need to be continuing vigilance.”

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