New Zealand's corona-free week ends with two new cases from UK
By Vivek Raj | Galatta | Jun 16, 2020, 04:00 pm
New Zealand reported two new coronavirus cases on Tuesday ending the country's 24-day streak of no new infections. Both cases have been revealed to be related to recent travel from the UK and have come at a time when New Zealand had last week lifted all social and economic restrictions while exercising border controls as the nation had for the first time reported no new or active COVID-19 cases. One of the first countries in the world to announce that it would return to pre-pandemic normality last week, New Zealand Prime Minister had issued a warning that more new cases may arise in the days ahead as many people would be returning back home while some others would be permitted back in under special conditions.
Ashley Bloomfield, the director general of health during a press conference said that the two new cases reported in New Zealand were women aged in their 30s and 40s who visited a dying parent in Wellington. The women had arrived in New Zealand from the UK, via Doha in Qatar and Brisbane in Australia on June 7 and were then sent to an isolation facility in Auckland. Special permission was given to both women to visit the dying parent in Wellington after which they are now said to be self-isolating. The two new cases takes the total number of coronavirus cases in New Zealand to 1,506 while 22 deaths have been recorded to date.
New Zealand’s success in warding off coronavirus to a relatively large extent has been attributed to the government''s timely strict restrictions enforced which saw businesses ordered to shut down followed by stay-at-home orders for the majority of the country's population while only essential workers were serving on the frontlines. Prime Minister Ardern, however, in a statement earlier this week said, "I don't want New Zealanders to believe that the battle is over when it is not,".