Apr 27, 2020 - Health

New Zealand has "won the battle" against coronavirus community spread

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern briefs the media about the COVIS-19 coronavirus
New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gives a briefing at Parliament House in Wellington. Photo: Mark Mitchell/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

New Zealand's top health official Ashley Bloomfield told a briefing Monday he's confident "we have achieved our goal of elimination" of the novel coronavirus following days of reporting single-digit cases.

The big picture: New Zealand was to move from alert level 4 at 11:59pm local time Monday, enabling New Zealanders to travel around their regions, not just their neighborhoods, and for some non-essential businesses and schools to reopen.

What they're saying: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said while the virus may be "currently" eliminated, it's important not to become complacent.

  • "There is no widespread undetected community transmission in New Zealand," Ardern said. "We have won that battle. But we must remain vigilant if we are to keep it that way."

By the numbers: New Zealand reported one COVID-19 case Monday, taking its total to 1,122. The virus has killed 19 New Zealanders.

What's next: Ardern said her Cabinet would discuss the next move on May 11, but level 3 restrictions could be extended if the trend reverses.

Go deeper: New Zealand sets sights on coronavirus elimination after 2 weeks of lockdown

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