New Zealand Going Into Nationwide Isolation to Battle Virus

New Zealand Going Into Nationwide Isolation to Battle Virus

New Zealand said today it will move to its highest alert level imposing self-isolation, with all-non-essential services, schools and offices to be shut over the next 48 hours as the number of coronavirus cases more than double.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that New Zealand will shut down in response to the community transmission of Covid-19 in two days.

The news comes after Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield revealed there had been 36 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in the last 24 hours - bringing the overall number of confirmed cases to 102.

Level three is Covid-19 is a heightened risk that the disease is not contained.

The Government has nearly doubled how much it will spend on its wage subsidy scheme; opening it up to all companies in New Zealand as thousands of businesses are forced to close their doors.

All Victorian schools will be closed from Tuesday, despite Mr Morrison's strong stance that schools elsewhere should remain open. "If that happens unchecked, our health system will be inundated, and tens of thousands New Zealanders will die".

New Zealanders will be subject to rationing of supplies with travel severely limited and the nation will undergo a major reorganisation of health services to combat the coronavirus cases.

"If we have a situation where this virus fundamentally gets away from us, we will have thousands of people who will only survive if they can breathe with the assistance of a machine and we will not have enough machines, nurses and doctors to provide that care".

Victorians will still be able to go to the supermarket, the bank, the pharmacy and other essential stores, like petrol stations and convenience stores.

He said the $150,000 cap on the wage subsidy scheme would be lifted altogether and all businesses would be eligible. Two of the cases are still being investigated as suspected community transmission.

COVID-19 is here, but contained.

More than 7400 tests have been carried out so far and there were 1100-1500 tests being done every day.

Ms Ardern said all bars, restaurants, cafes, gyms, cinemas, pools, museums, libraries, playgrounds and any other place where the public congregate must close their face-to-face function.

Officials in New Zealand are hopeful these stringent measures will only have to be in place for four weeks, although they will likely be extended indefinitely in the event the virus jumps containment lines in the community.

While in alert level 4, Ardern said contact tracing would continue and testing would go on "at pace" to find out where cases are.

Ms Ardern also announced a four tier alert system for the country over the weekend.

"We may have regrets if we don't", he said.

These measures will be in place for four weeks at this point.

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