Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, New Zealanders have been reportedly breaking lockdown in record numbers. According to reports, the police in New Zealand have been busy over this past weekend trying to reign in citizens as they break the lockdown in anticipation of an announcement by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern regarding the easing of coronavirus restrictions.
As per reports, PM Ardern is expected to announce the easing of restrictions in New Zealand after 7 weeks of one of the strictest lockdown measures in the world. The severe lockdown measures have effectively confined New Zealanders to their homes in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
According to reports, the authorities reported that almost 50 people broke a Level 3 lockdown on May 10 in just a span of 24 hours. Among those that breached the lockdown was a family that hosted a children’s birthday party and a church gathering that took place in someone’s backyard. Wellington City Council spokesman Richard MacLean reportedly told local media that the capital city of Wellington was ‘like rush hour’.
Prime Minister Jacinda Arden-led island nation New Zealand has emerged as a model for countries grappling with coronavirus pandemic. With its 'eradication strategy', the country took early action and kept restrictions in place till it was assured of end of community transmission. In less than two months, New Zealand is back on its feet, ready to reopen, start travel again and soon people will be able to give each other 'a quick hug'.
On May 4, the country recorded zero new cases of coronavirus marking its first day without any infection since it went into lockdown in March. While announcing the same at a press briefing, PM Arden also cautioned the citizens to continue to follow social distancing norms in order to avoid risk. She added that the country's goal to eliminate the virus completely is now 'within the reach' and one wrong step could 'squander the good work'.
After originating from China’s “wet markets”, the coronavirus has now claimed over 280,451 lives worldwide as of May 10. According to the tally by international news agency, the pandemic has now spread to 212 countries and has infected at least 4,101,975 people. Out of the total infections, 1,441,873 have been recovered but the easily spread virus is continuing to disrupt many lives. Major cities have been put under lockdown in almost all countries and the economy is struggling.