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New Zealand declares national emergency ahead of lockdown

New Zealand declares national emergency ahead of lockdown

New Zealand became another country that preferred to declare a State of National Emergency amid the coronavirus epidemic. As UPI reported, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that since Wednesday, the nation lives under a special set of rules aimed at minimizing the spread of the novel pathogen.

New Zealanders will start a new phase of their lives from midnight Wednesday. The country bunkers down for four weeks to try and stop the COVID-19 in its tracks, to break the chain, said Jacinda Ardern during her speech in parliament.

“Make no mistake, this will get worse before it gets better.”

PM’s ominous message came as Ministry of Health reported 50 new and probable cases of coronavirus, increasing its total to 205 as the country goes into lockdown in order to stop social transmission of the pathogen from infecting thousands in the archipelago country.

In New Zealand, only five of 50 new infected were hospitalized

Declaring the state of emergency for New Zeland, PM urged people to obey rules, to self-isolate and not to panic. It is possible to stop the virus if everyone will be responsible for at least four weeks.

“It’s that simple,” prime minister said. “In this fight against a virus, we have some things on our side.”

Ms Ardern also announced the lockdown would be in effect within 48 hours on Monday when its number of cases passed 100, ordering the country’s some 4.7 million people to prepare to stay at home and not to interact with those individuals outside for a minimum of a month.

State of emergency as a measure to stop coronavirus in NZ

The declaration goes into effect at 12:21 p.m. and will allow the director of Civil Defence Emergency Management to

  • coordinate and use resources made available and gives it the power to oversee the supply of food, fuel and other essential supplies;
  • regulate land, water and air traffic;
  • close roads and public places;
  • evacuate premises including public spaces; and
  • prohibit people from any place deemed necessary.

The police and military will be working to remind people to follow the lockdown with the ability “to escalate” if required. “They can arrest if needed,” Ardern said.