New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attends the launch of the Labour Party's election campaign in Auckland on Saturday. Photo: Michael Bradley/AFP via Getty Images

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — New Zealand has now gone 100 days with no detected community spread of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health confirmed in an emailed statement Sunday.

Why It Matters: New Zealanders are going to the polls on Sept. 19. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been widely praised for her leadership that saw NZ lock down hard for several weeks before all domestic restrictions were lifted in June. She sees her government's response to and recovery from the coronavirus outbreak as key to her Labour Party being re-elected.

"When people ask, is this a Covid election, my answer is yes, it is."
— Ardern's news briefing remarks
  • Ardern announced at a briefing Saturday that Labour's re-election campaign that is heavily focused on continuing with the economic recovery, pledging NZ$311 million ($205.32m) for a "Flexi-wage" subsidy scheme to help businesses give jobs to some 40,000 Kiwis.

The big picture: Labour is well ahead in the polls of its nearest rival, the National Party, led by Judith Collins. But conservative Collins told RNZ Saturday she's still confident of winning under her party's platform "Strong team, More Jobs, Better Economy."

  • Collins is the third leader to be appointed by the National Party this year.

By the numbers: New Zealand has 23 active coronavirus cases. All are NZ residents newly returned from abroad, who are staying in managed isolation facilities.

Of note: The border remains closed to non-residents and all newly returned Kiwis must undergo a two-week isolation program managed by the country's defense force. All travelers tested three times before they leave.

By the numbers: "Of the 36,000 people who have stayed in managed isolation facilities since they were opened, eight are before the court in relation to absconding," a New Zealand Police spokesperson told Axios.

Flashback: New Zealand beats coronavirus

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from police.

Go deeper

Updated Sep 27, 2020 - Health

3 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Utah, North Carolina and Wyoming set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project (CTP) and state health departments. Utah and Wyoming surpassed records set the previous week.

Why it matters: Record case highs have usually meant that more hospitalizations and other serious outcomes are on the way, CTP's latest weekly update notes.

Updated Sep 28, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

India became on Monday the second country after the U.S. to surpass 6 million cases.

By the numbers: Globally, nearly 997,800 people have died from COVID-19 and over 33 million have tested positive, Johns Hopkins data shows.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Sep 28, 2020 - Health

Why kids get less severe coronavirus infections

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

A new study suggests that the reason why children get less severe coronavirus infections than adults is because they have a different immune response, NYT reports.

What they're saying: "The bottom line is, yes, children do respond differently immunologically to this virus, and it seems to be protecting the kids," Betsy Herold, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Albert Einstein College of Medicine who led the study, told the Times.