In a bid to soften the blow of the coronavirus pandemic, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Adern on April 7 assured children that both Easter Bunny and Tooth fairies were essential health care workers and that it would be difficult for them to reach every house amid the present situation. April 12 marks the Easter Sunday worldwide. Meanwhile, the deadly pandemic has infected 13,47,966 and killed 74,793 people across the globe.
Adern, speaking in a nationwide televised address said, “You'll be pleased to know that we do consider both the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny to be essential workers. But as you can imagine, at this time they're going to be potentially quite busy at home with their family as well and their own bunnies. I say to the children of New Zealand, if the Easter Bunny doesn't make it to your household, we have to understand that it's a bit difficult at the moment for the bunny to perhaps get everywhere."
New Zealand has till now reported 1,160 cases of COVID-19 infection and death of one individual. Meanwhile, about 1,00,000 tourists stuck in the country since last week's lockdown have now begun to fly back to their home countries. According to reports, the initial problem for many had been that they were banned from catching domestic flights during the strict month-long lockdown, aimed at preventing more coronavirus infections.
Officials said 37,000 tourists had signed up with their various embassies seeking to return home, although Minister of Foreign Affairs, Winston Peters, said in an interview with the radio station that the true number seeking to leave was about 100,000. Air New Zealand said the first of several flights chartered by the German government to repatriate stranded Germans left Friday afternoon from Auckland bound for Frankfurt via Vancouver, Canada.
British High Commissioner Laura Clarke said 10,000 British tourists had registered with her office wanting to return home. While most of the stranded tourists are from the UK and Europe, officials said about 2,700 tourists from Asia and 3,800 from North and South America combined had also signed up to be repatriated.