Last COVID-19 patient cured in New Zealand, PM Jacinda Ardern declares country 'virus free'
Wellington (New Zealand) | Jagran News Desk: Less than an hour after New Zealand's health authorities said that the last active coronavirus patient has been cured, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ordered to lift all COVID-19 restrictions except stringent border control measures in place almost immediately.
“We are ready,” Ardern told reporters present in a news conference in Wellington while adding that her fellow citizens acted “united in unprecedented ways to crush the virus.”
The country of a little less than five million put in-place a stringent lockdown on March 25th, and ever since the authorities were on their toes to ‘flatten the curve’ of viral spread.
“I know it’s a Monday and all, but I reckon I might pop that bottle of bubbly tonight and raise a glass to all the people of this fine country. Ka Pai Aotearoa,” James Shaw, the climate change minister was quoted as saying by Guardian, using a Māori phrase that means ‘good job, New Zealand.’
“Also, wash your hands...” he added.
“Having no active cases for the first time since February 28 is certainly a significant mark in our journey but as we've previously said, ongoing vigilance against COVID-19 will continue to be essential,” Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield was quoted as saying.
For the past ten days, a woman in her 50s, a resident of Auckland, was reportedly the last person in New Zealand known to be suffering from coronavirus. On Monday, she had reported 48 hours symptom-free and was now considered recovered, health officials stated.
Ardern was asked what her reaction had been to the news. “I did a little dance,” she said.
New Zealand had reported just over 200 confirmed cases when the government announced the lockdown in the country. As of today, all confirmed 1,504 COVID patients have recovered with a total fatality count of 22.
The South Pacific nation has not recorded any coronavirus infection for the last 17 days, pushing the authorities for more liberal opening up of the economy.
Other than New Zealand, countries such as Norway, Finland and Namibia to have recorded near virus-free stimulus as far as the spread of coronavirus pandemic is concerned.
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma