Michael Baker: Government's quarantine plans will reduce covid-19 risk

New Zealand falls silent on day one of coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand falls silent on day one of coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand government took a drastic measure to slow down the spread of contagion in its initial stages.

Referring to lockdown from mid-night, the Prime Minister said that New Zealand police will be out and about from Thursday and "may ask people who are on the street where they are going and why".

"Each of you has a role in helping to save a life", she said.

During a press briefing later in the day, Jacinda said modelling suggested New Zealand could have several thousands of cases of COVID-19 before the numbers start coming down. Ardern strictly made clear that if people had any questions about what they can or can't do, they had to apply a simple principle: Act like they have COVID-19, she declared.

'We have a plan to defeat this invisible enemy and we will emerge a stronger people, ' he said. Only thereafter the authorities will begin to know how successful they have been, Jacinda emphasized.

The cases connected with the school and the cases connected with the World Hereford Conference in Queenstown, were both being treated as "clusters", Dr Bloomfield said.

The government would be operating hotels as quarantine facilities, and paying to rent rooms, Ardern said.

Today another 50 coronavirus cases were announced by the Ministry of Health.

Hong Kong bans all non-residents from entering the city
The strict new measures come as the number of confirmed cases in the city has nearly doubled in the past week. The city's airport - the eighth busiest in the world - would also bar all transit passengers, Lam added.

Central Park playground in Wellington has signs telling people not to use the playgrounds during a coronavirus nationwide lockdown.

It is understood that about 10,000 New Zealanders, now overseas, are expected to return home by the end of the month.

Mr Peters, who at 74 is in a high-risk group, is working from his Auckland home during the lockdown while Ms Ardern has relocated to Wellington. It also provides access to powers that would not normally be available but would be needed to support the delivery and timely response to Covid-19. "Don't think about congregating with anyone else, don't think about a lunch or a catch-up, or visiting a friend in their home", she said.

A state of emergency was declared in New Zealand by the Minister for Civil Defence Peeni Henare on Wednesday afternoon as the number of infections soared to 205 overnight - a rise of nearly 50 per cent.

New Zealand borders will be open for returning New Zealanders but all of them will be screened at their port of arrival, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said.

Civil Defence director Sarah Stuart-Black on Wednesday said she expected the powers to be used where necessary. The Police will work with New Zealand Defence to ensure that essential services are provided without hinderance.

"We don't want thousands of people to die".

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