New Zealand Declares National Emergency, Begins 4-Week Lockdown

New Zealand Declares National Emergency, Begins 4-Week Lockdown”

"Its a state of emergency to preserve our way of life", Ardern said in a speech in parliament on Wednesday, declaring a state of national emergency.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Kiwis who show coronavirus symptoms or can not appropriately travel to an approved place for self-isolation will be quarantined in airport hotels and motels. We will have a lag and cases will increase for the next week or so.

With another record amount of COVID-19 cases identified, the New Zealand government has been granted extraordinary operating powers to implement a nationwide lockdown.

Infectious disease specialist Dr Richard Everts prepares to test patients a Covid-19 community based assessment centre in Tahunanui, Nelson.

"Act like you've got Covid-19, think about the impact you'll have on others if you go out unnecessarily".

'Over the next few weeks cases will go up, particularly as we have New Zealanders returning home (who) still represent the vast majority of cases'.

New Zealand on Wednesday reported 47 new confirmed cases of coronavirus and three probable cases, bringing the total to 205. But everyone had to keep 2 metres (6 feet) distance, and people may be stopped and questioned by the police.

"It is a high threshold and if you can't [travel alone], you will be put in an approved facility", she said.

'You will hear us and see us daily as we guide New Zealanders through this period'.

Ardern said success will not be instant, and what we do today won't see benefits for days to come.

She told residents that the number of people infected would rise, possibly by thousands.

A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

Parliament would also pass an urgent bill that changed various pieces of legislation, including freezing all rent increases and empowers the Education Secretary to open and close schools as necessary.

While Ardern acknowledged military enforcement of the lockdown policies might seem daunting at first, she ensured Kiwis they would be able to go outside and get fresh air without being questioned by authorities.

Asymptomatic people without the means to self-isolate will also be put in an approved facility, as would those who did not have a suitable way to stay isolated while traveling from the airport to their home city.

"They will be checked on by police in the days that follow, and they will be fined and quarantined if they are not follow instructions to self-isolate".

"We must take this period of self-isolation deadly seriously".

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