New Zealand has “beaten the virus again”, says Prime Minister

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday announced the lifting of restrictions ordered in Auckland to counter the second epidemic wave, saying that her country had “again beaten the virus”.

The first wave of coronavirus had probably been completely contained at the end of May thanks to strict national containment. And the archipelago recorded in the wake of a remarkable series of 102 days without local contamination.

But a new epidemic focus was discovered in August in the largest city in the country, which prompted the authorities to order a new containment for the million and a half of Auckland’s inhabitants which lasted three weeks, until the beginning of September.

With no new cases having been confirmed in the large city of the North Island for 12 days, Ms. Ardern said the epidemic was now under control and greeted residents who had to endure new containment.

“Aucklanders and New Zealanders stuck to a plan that has now worked twice. And they’ve beaten the virus again, ”said the Labor leader.

A success that is timely for her, since voters are called to renew Parliament on October 17. She is widely favored to remain at the head of government.

Ms Ardern added that as of Wednesday evening, Auckland would be reduced to level 1 of the health alert, which is the one in force for the rest of the country.

This means that there are no longer any restrictions on public gatherings.

One of the notable consequences is that the second rugby test match between New Zealand and Australia, counting towards the Bledisloe Cup – the annual competition between the All Blacks and the Wallabies – can be held on October 18 at Eden Park. Auckland in front of a packed stadium.

“This is positive news,” welcomed the New Zealand Rugby federation in a statement. The first test match will take place in Wellington on Sunday.

The South Pacific archipelago, with a population of five million, has recorded just 25 deaths from COVID-19 and less than 1,900 cases. There were still 40 active cases of coronavirus on Monday.

But Ms. Ardern also said that we should not fall asleep on our laurels, deploring a lesser use of the official COVID-19 tracing application, and a drop in the number of tests.

“A return of the virus is not the only thing that worries us, there is also a return of complacency”, thundered Ms. Ardern.

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