Covid-19: State of Emergency declared in New Zealand

A health technician wearing protective gear takes a swab from a patients nostrils at a Covid-19

A health technician wearing protective gear takes a swab from a patients nostrils at a Covid-19 testing centre in Portugal

New Zealand has so far recorded 205 cases of COVID-19, with 50 new cases confirmed today.

New Zealand has a population of about five million people but has so far experienced a lower infection rate than many other countries and no deaths.

"My advice is to behave as if you have Covid-19, stay at home, break the chain and save lives", she told a media conference this afternoon. Preparations are being made at airports to screen them. If not, they would also be quarantined.

"The Epidemic Notice provides the government the power to take such measures as necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and protect our people".

'We have a plan to defeat this invisible enemy and we will emerge a stronger people, ' he said.

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"We will not get everything right, every time". Ardern said the quarantine regime would begin at 2am on Thursday.

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.

Approved isolation facilities will be hotels, mainly, and the Government has already looked at hotels near airports to be used.

Up to 10,000 Kiwis could come home by the end of the month, and some of them may pose a health risk. Three of those people are in Wellington Hospital. She said she accepted that people could walk around the block to "sustain themselves".

'There is a lag (between) the transmission and the manifestation of COVID-19 symptoms. "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.

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New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern has reportedly declared a national emergency in the country as over 47 new COVID-19 cases emerged within 24 hours.

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.

"Some examples are: Powers of requisition to manage wider consequences, for example, providing for the conservation and supply of fuel and other essential supplies; closing of roads; stopping people doing activities that may contribute to the emergency; excluding people from places; prohibiting or regulating traffic".

Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management Sarah Stuart-Black said Kiwis pull through by calling on memories of varied tragedies and emergencies over the next month.

"This [situation] will be, I know, adding a huge amount of anxiety to people.it's also just taking a bit of breath, that we're just talking about hanging out at home".

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