PM Jacinda Ardern tests positive for covid-19 – NZ cases rising

NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ... "After two years of isolation, internationally she's a rock star attraction." Image: Angus Dreaver

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed that she has tested positive for covid-19.

Her daughter Neve tested positive on Wednesday, she added in the post. Her partner Clarke Gayford tested positive on Sunday.

“Despite best efforts, unfortunately I’ve joined the rest of my family and tested positive for covid-19,” Ardern wrote on social media.

Reports of her covid status follow a statement yesterday by Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield that thousands of new cases of covid-19 were being reported every day in New Zealand, but this was likely to be half of the number of actual cases.

With a further 29 deaths with covid-19 and 7441 new cases yesterday, Dr Bloomfield said the impact of the severity of omicron was still visible.

Prime Minister Ardern has been symptomatic since Friday night, according to a statement, and has “moderate” symptoms. She returned a weak positive Friday night and a clear positive this morning on a RAT test.

Ardern will be required to isolate until the morning of Saturday May 21.

Missing the Budget
Ardern, who has been isolating since Gayford tested positive, will now have to miss the Budget announcement on Thursday and the release of the government’s Emissions Reduction Plan on Monday.

“There are so many important things happening for the government this week,” she wrote.

“I’m gutted to miss being there in person, but will be staying in close touch with the team and sharing some reckons from here.

“To anyone else out there isolating or dealing with covid, I hope you take good care of yourselves!”

Ardern’s upcoming travel to the United States, scheduled for late May, will go ahead as planned at this stage. She is scheduled to give the commencement speech at Harvard University on May 26.

Former Labour Party president Mike Williams hopes she will be well enough to travel.

“After two years of isolation, internationally she’s a rock star attraction, and it does the country a hell of a lot of good to get her out and about.”

Williams said Ardern, 41, was young and fit, so should be fine.

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson will take the post-cabinet press conference on Monday.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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