New Zealand becomes pandemic free


Amid ongoing global pandemic and number of increasing deaths daily, New Zealand  declares it has zero remaining cases of coronavirus, Professor Michael Baker, Professor of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington has said in comments provided by the country’s Science Media Centre, regarding the expected move to Level 1 restrictions.


New Zealand has no active diagnosed cases of COVID-19 for the first time since 28 February, health officials say.


It has now been 17 days since the country last recorded a new case of the coronavirus. 


Ardern locked down the country on 25 March when case numbers were low, with restrictions gradually easing since. Fewer than 1,500 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in New Zealand, and 22 have died.


New Zealanders have eagerly awaited status reports on the last person confirmed to have the virus, who has been the sole remaining sufferer in New Zealand for the past ten days. In a statement today, the Ministry of Health said the woman – in her 50s and based in Auckland – had recovered.


“The Ministry has been notified by Auckland Regional Public Health that its remaining case has been symptom free for 48 hours and is regarded as recovered,” the statement said.


“The person has now been released from isolation”, concluded the statement.


Ardern said she “did a little dance” when she heard the country was COVID-19 free. Ardern announced that her government would abandon all restrictions except border controls from midnight tonight, adding, “There’s no denying this is a milestone.” She also praised New Zealanders for having “united in unprecedented ways to crush the virus”.