The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, announced on Monday the return to normality of Auckland, the most populous city in the country and which was confined in August when a re-outbreak of COVID-19 was detected, starting at midnight on Wednesday.
The president, however, indicated that the return to lowest level of alert (level 1) does not mean that the virus has been completely eliminated.
“I don’t want anyone to believe that being at level 1 implies the absence of COVID-19 in New Zealand, “Ardern said at a press conference in the city of Christchurch and at the end of a virtual meeting with his Cabinet.
Eliminate the epidemic focus
The 1.7 million inhabitants of Auckland They will be able to meet and circulate freely from Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. local time without the need to exercise physical distance or wear masks, although they must follow the hygiene rules and be tested for COVID-19 if they have symptoms.
Ardern explained that they have not reported local contagions in the last ten days associated with the outbreak of COVID-19 detected in mid-August in Auckland, to which 179 infections have been associated since then.
New Zealand experts believe a 95 percent chance that the focus in Auckland has been removed. On August 11 and when the country reached 102 days without detecting local infections, the local authorities reported the positive of four members of the same family and a day later declared the lockdown from Auckland.
New Zealand, whose government has been praised for its efficient and fast management against COVID-19, accumulates a total of 1,499 infections, including 25 deaths and 40 active cases, since the start of the pandemic.
The oceanic country, which declared the first lockdown on March 25 when they only had 50 confirmed cases and returned to the new normal On June 8, it entered a technical recession last month, falling 12.2% in the second quarter of 2020 as a result of tough restrictions.
The nation holds general elections on the 17th of this month, in which Ardern Part as favorite to revalidate his position for a term of three years.