New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has thanked Aucklanders who come out of lockdown after Sunday night for their commitment to suppressing the latest coronavirus flare-up.
Two new cases of Covid-19 have been reported on Sunday, both in the community and linked to the latest Auckland cluster. Ardern thanked the residents of New Zealand’s largest city for their adherence to the stringent lockdown requirements.
“Our system is only as good as our people,” she said. “And our people are amazing.”
But Ardern urged Aucklanders to “keep going”. Though lockdown lifts on Monday, masks will be mandated on public transport and strongly encouraged elsewhere.
“Basically when you step out of your home, we’re asking you to please wear a mask.”
Ardern said it was “highly unlikely” there was Covid outside Auckland and “we want to keep it that way”.
She warned that if further outbreaks occurred, New Zealand could be forced to move back up the alert levels.
The programme of curbs has worked well, Ardern said, telling a televised briefing: “It is designed to keep us on track with our elimination strategy.”
On social media, the prime minister gave a demonstration of DIY facemask making:
By Sunday there were 136 active cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, with 10 people in hospital, two of them in intensive care.
New Zealand has recorded 1,378 cases of Covid-19 since the pandemic began. The death toll stands at 22.