New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared a state of emergency on Wednesday as the country prepared to go into complete lockdown to combat the spread of deadly COVID-19 virus. With the number of positive cases soaring, the New Zealand government is going all out to exercise extra operating powers to impose a nationwide lockdown.

New Zealand saw the number of Coronavirus rising to up to more than 200, which led the government to impose self-isolation for everyone, resulting in shutting down all non-essential services, offices and schools for a month.

As per the news reports, everyone except those associated with the essential services will be required to stay at home from midnight Wednesday. People will be allowed to step outside their homes with household members, but they will need to maintain two-metre’s distance from anyone to contain the spread of COVID-19.

New Zealand declares month-long State of Emergency to break the COVID-19 chain

Referring to this lockdown, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern emphasised that unlike many other gravely affected countries, they still have the window of opportunity to stay at home and break the chain of transmission and help save lives. She also added that in this fight against the virus, there are certain things on their side, and that they are moving to the next phase of response early, i.e., ahead of any potential overrun in their hospitals, ahead of any deaths on their soil. However, that does not mean that they should be complacent, and not take this period of self-isolation dead seriously, Jacinda stated.

New Zealand is trying to eliminate COVID-19 before it takes its toll, after taking cues from the devastation that it caused in countries like Italy, where authorities acted late. Latest reports state that with 205 confirmed cases and more probable cases, a vast majority can be traced with their travel history, even as first signs of community transmissions have been detected.

This one-month nationwide lockdown will see all non-essential business and schools closed down. However, essential services will be accessible to the public, although many are required to limit customers to one at a time.

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