NZ lockdown – day 27: More mercy flights on way – one more virus death

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Stunning drone footage taken in Auckland and Wellington during level 4 lockdown shows few vehicles and an absence of pedestrians in New Zealand’s main cities. Videos: RNZ visual journalists Simon Rogers and Dom Thomas

By RNZ News

The New Zealand government is planning more repatriation flights for its citizens and residents stuck overseas.

Only citizens and residents are allowed to return under the current border restrictions – with limited exceptions – and all are being quarantined.

Officials have so far helped arrange flights back to New Zealand from Peru, and 167 people who were stranded in the Philippines arrived in Auckland yesterday.

READ MORE: Al Jazeera coronavirus live updates – World death toll tops 170,000

Minister Chris Hipkins said the first flight carrying people who were stranded in India was due in Auckland this week.

He said repatriation efforts continued in what is the largest consular operation ever attempted by New Zealand foreign affairs’ officials.

“Where we can we’re working very closely to make sure that we can get Kiwis home and get those who are in New Zealand who want to get home, also home.”

However, some of those stuck overseas said they would struggle to pay the cost of being repatriated to New Zealand.

India’s announcement of a lockdown was swift.

No way out for foreigners
With only four hours notice between the announcement and when it took effect, there was no way out for foreigners.

Others said flights in the days leading up to the lockdown were cancelled anyway.

The total number of confirmed and probable cases in New Zealand is now 1445, with five new cases identified today, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced.

One new death was announced today – a woman in her 70s who was transferred from St Margaret’s rest home in Auckland to Waitakere Hospital.

A 49-year-old New Zealander has also died of Covid-19 in Peru.

Fourteen people are in hospitals, but none are in a critical condition

The New Zealand death toll from Covid-19 is now 13.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced yesterday that the country would continue its level 4 lockdown until 11.59pm on Monday, April 27.

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.
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