New Zealand has won “battle” against coronavirus, prime minister says
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday that, for now, the country has “won” the fight against widespread coronavirus. The country is also falling from Warning Level Four to Alert Level Three, as the number of new cases of coronavirus continues to be small.
New cases of coronavirus in the country have been “in the single digits” over the last few days, Ardern said in a Monday press conference. She called the figures “incredible,” crediting the small number of cases to the “sacrifices made by every single New Zealander.”
Ardern clarified that the country will “hunt down” the remaining cases of the virus in order to truly “succeed” in the fight against the coronavirus — but that it has won the battle against broader community transmission.
“There is no widespread, undetected community transmission in New Zealand. We have won that battle,” said Ardern. “But we must remain vigilant if we are to keep it that way.”
New Zealand announced only one new confirmed coronavirus case Monday, with four “likely” cases. The national total of confirmed cases is 1,122, said Health Director-General Dr Ashley Bloomfield at the press conference. According to the Ministry of Health, nineteen people have died from the disease in New Zealand.
Bloomfield was later asked at the press conference whether he considered eliminating the coronavirus in the world.
“Our goal is elimination,” Bloomfield said. “And again, that doesn’t mean eradication, but it means we get down to a small number of cases so that we are able to stamp out any cases and any outbreaks that might come up.”