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New Zealand will go into coronavirus lockdown within two days

by Mattie Shafer (2020-03-30)

New Zealand will enter an almost full lockdown by Wednesday with draconian measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. non-essential businesses and services will be shut for at least four weeks and anyone not working in them told to stay home other than solitary exercise.

Schools will shut except for parents working in essential services, along with public transport across the country - and the military used to enforced the rules.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that New Zealand would enter 'level 4' restrictions within 48 hours, with level 3 enacted immediately.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced New Zealand would enter 'level 4' restrictions - a near-total lockdown - within 48 hours

Everyday Australians on social media urged Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to show 'real leadership' and follow Ms Ardern's lead. 

'Why can't we get clear messaging like this in Australia,' wrote marketing expert Paula Rodgers alongside a clear graph of the four alert levels in New Zealand.

'Arden announced a wage guarantee a full week before a shut down. That's responsible and smart. Australia is making it up as we go along,' added journalist Osman Faruqi.

'Props to Jacinda Ardern for making the tough decisions early. New Zealand will escape this pandemic in much better shape than Australia... This is what real leadership looks like,' tweeted another.

UNSW Professor Bill Bowtell said Australia should immediately implement identical measures if it was to have a chance at containing the virus.





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'New Zealand isn't doing it for the fun of it, they are doing to for very well-considered reasons,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

'We need to stop the threat of the virus and this is the way to do it. The virus move a lot faster than how slow our response has been.'

Professor Bowtell, who led Australia's response to the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, said Australia adopted Britain's strategy instead of 'obvious' better-planned ones in Asia that have had success.

'There's been conflicting, contradictory advice that barely lasts form day to do. What has to happen now is a very considered shut down,' he said.

However, Mr Morrison has resisted calls to beef up restrictions in an attempt to minimise the impact a lockdown would have on the economy.

New Zealand confirmed 36 new cases overnight, bringing its total to 102 with two of them considered community transmissions. 

New Zealand has four coronavirus alert levels. It has just moved in to level 3 and will be at the highest level by Wednesday 

New Zealand capital Wellington is a ghost town as the country begins shutting down to combat the coronavirus pandemic 

The alert level gives Ms Ardern's government sweeping powers to restrict movement, lock people at home, and requisition resources to fight the deadly virus.

The military will even be used to enforce the measures along with police, but armed soldiers would not be patrolling the streets. 

Supermarkets and pharmacies will stay open but supplies rationed, and private facilities pressed into public service.

A 'major reprioritisation of healthcare services' would also be involved to combat coronavirus as the biggest public health threat.

Going for a walk or run outside would be permitted, but people had to stay 2m from anyone who they didn't live with. 

'I have a very keen sense of the magnitude of this moment in New Zealand's history and we did not take this decision lightly,' Ms Ardern said.

'But we all absolutely believe, this is the right thing to do. We will save lives by taking these measures now.'

Level 3 was immediately put in place, which restricts travel in badly-affected areas and bans all mass gatherings of any kind.

Public venues like libraries, museums, cinemas, food courts, gyms, pools, amusement parks are closed along with some businesses.

Empty kayaks sit on the banks of the Avon River in central Christchurch, New Zealand, with everything shut down amid the pandemic

Face-to-face health consultations, like GP visits, are banned and all elective surgeries postponed. 

Ms Ardern said the lockdown would be phased in through level 3 so people had two days to 'get their things in order'. 

Mr Morrison shut down many businesses including gyms, pubs, cafes and restaurants across the country from 12pm on Monday.

He had on Sunday morning insisted such measures were not yet necessary as he tried to prevent, or at least delay, massive economic damage. 

He was forced to change his tune and 로켓 와우 impose a national ban after the two states and Canberra broke ranks just an hour after he finished speaking.