NZ lockdown – day one: Things going as ‘smoothly as possible’, says PM

NZ empty streets
Empty streets across New Zealand today (clockwise, from top left) in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. Image: RNZ

By RNZ News

New Zealand has – almost – made it through the first day of the national month-long lockdown, and according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, things have gone “as smoothly as could be expected”.

Speaking to media today, Ardern highlighted just how much of a feat that was. The lockdown – unprecedented in New Zealand – was only announced on Monday.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said this morning that most people were abiding by the rules, but noted a few had not been complying.

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“We’ve engaged with a few of those, given them some advice … you won’t believe it but some people were saying they were unaware of these conditions,” he said.

“People were out driving around, just having fun, people were visiting ATMs, things like that.”

Dawn on the first day of the lockdown revealed an eerily quiet Aotearoa.

Normally bustling city streets were empty, there was no rush hour and only a handful of people could be seen out and about as the country entered day one of the lockdown.

NZ total of infections now 283
As the day progressed, the Ministry of Health revealed 78 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total to 283. And 27 people have now recovered from the coronavirus.

Seven people are now in hospital – three in Wellington, two in Nelson, one in Waikato and one in Northland – but none of them are in intensive care.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the new results included a number of clusters – at Marist College, the World Hereford conference in Queenstown, a wedding in Wellington, a group trip to the US, a number of people in Hawke’s Bay that are associated with someone on the Ruby Princess cruise ship, and a rest home in Hamilton.

This article is republished by the Pacific Media Centre under a partnership agreement with RNZ.

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP – don’t show up at a medical centre.
  • Read more at RNZ News


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