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Australia, New Zealand: too soon to ease epidemic restrictions

Australia, New Zealand: too soon to ease epidemic restrictions

The neighbouring countries’ officials believe it is too early to ease the coronavirus restrictions despite the total cases number get done significantly. As TRT reports on Monday, social distancing rules will not be ease this week.

The rate of new COVID-19 cases has abated significantly in both NZ and Australia without straining the capacity of their health systems. The health officials of the two Pacific nations hailed globally for their early signs of success in combating the spread of the pathogen but said it is too soon to start reopening their economies.

New Zealand has enforced a nationwide lockdown and Australia is also tightly restricting many activities. As of Monday, NNZ recorded its fifth death due to coronavirus, but new confirmed cases rose only by 15, a sixth of what was seen in early April, bringing the total of cases to 1,064.

On Monday morning, Australia’s health ministry said that the number of new confirmed cases rose by 33. In other words, it is the slowest rate in a month and less than a tenth seen two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Australia has now recorded 6,322 cases, with 61 deaths.

Despite that success in curbing the COVID-19, health minister Greg Hunt said it was too soon to relax restrictions despite the flattening in the curve of cases.

“Now is the time to stay the course, to continue with these, self-isolation and social distancing,” Hunt said in televised briefing and added that such a responsible behaviour is producing real reductions in the rate of virus spreading.

Australia deployed its toughest crackdown yet over the long Easter holiday weekend, with helicopters, police checkpoints and hefty fines used to deter people from breaking a travel ban or breaching public gathering rules.

New Zealand continues to live under lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister said a decision on whether to extend the nationwide lockdown and state of national emergency will be made on April 20.

“Our number of cases may be small, but that doesn’t mean we have yet been successful in hunting this virus down,” PM Ardern said.

With the economies of both countries taking a severe hit, governments are spending heavily on cushioning the impact.

New Zealand’s PM said her government will be issuing guidance next week on the economy’s ability to recover.

“We are very aware of the need to get our economy running as soon as possible,” Ardern said.