New Zealand police have received more than 1,200 reports of people breaking restrictions on mass gatherings since Alert level 3 was imposed on the country. New Zealand was on stringent Alert level 4 restrictions, however owing to a decline in cases, the Jacinda Ardern led government eased down restrictions on April 27. As of now, the country has recorded 1,487 COVID-19 positive cases and 20 deaths.
According to a police statement, out of the total reports, 685 came on May 1 and 2, between a 24 hour period starting at 6 pm. It added that the police took action on 112 out of them. Both, May 1 and 2, marked May Day holidays and authorities across the world witnesses flouting of rules by citizens.
“Under no circumstances should anyone be having a party under the Alert Level 3 restrictions. Such behaviour could waste all the sacrifices made by our team of five million over the last five weeks,” said Acting Assistant Commissioner Scott Fraser in a statement.
Level 3 alert allows for economic activities such as forestry, construction and manufacturing however it restricts social activity, international media reported. The Kiwi leader later revealed that the decision on whether restrictions could be eased further would be taken on May 11. "If we want to make sure that we are a health success story, and ensure our economy can start to operate again without the virus taking off, we need to get the next phase right. The worst thing we can do for our country is to yo-yo between levels, with all of the uncertainty that this would bring," Arden said at the news briefing.
The New Zealand administration has received applauds from across the world for its response to the deadly outbreak and has been credited with successfully containing the contagious disease. The government had shut its borders and imposed strict lockdown measures even before a single death was recorded in the nation, thereby, flattening the curve of COVID-19.
(Image credits: AP)