New Zealand is 100% covid free; India reopens

By Eudore R. Chand

WELLINGTON 9 June 2020: New Zealand has no known active cases of Covid-19, the Ministry of Health declared on Monday.

The last remaining case, a woman from Auckland, has now been symptom free for 48 hours and is regarded as recovered, the German news agency, DPA, reported citing the ministry.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the person was now able to leave isolation.

“This is really good news for the person concerned, and it’s also something the rest of New Zealand can take heart from. Having no active cases for the first time since February was a significant mark in our journey,” Bloomfield said.

“But as we’ve previously said, ongoing vigilance against Covid-19 will continue to be essential”, he added.

It has now been 17 days since the last new case of Covid-19 was reported in New Zealand.

The country has reported a total of 1,504 confirmed and probable cases, with a death toll of 22 people.

New Zealand to lift all coronavirus restrictions

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that all coronavirus measures in the country will be lifted from Tuesday, barring border closure restrictions, as the virus had been eliminated from the country.

The country would move to national alert level 1 from midnight on Monday, Reuters quoted Ardern as saying in a news conference, said Wam.

She said public and private events can go on without restrictions, retail and hospitality sectors can operate normally, and all public transport can resume.

India’s first day of reopening

NEW DELHI: People in the second most populous country in the world stepped out of their homes yesterday for the first time in 10 weeks to go to mosques and temples, but scenes from across India showed worshippers exercising caution, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing to ward off Coronavirus.

Indians visited shopping malls and restaurants, but in small numbers because of strict capacity limits imposed under government guidelines to avoid crowding and chances of the virus spreading. Traffic was brisk in the national capital of Delhi which was free from traffic jams during the protracted lockdown.

Despite the “Unlock” which began its phase one yesterday, the risk from Covid-19 infection was underlined when Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal went into self-quarantine with suspected symptoms of the dreaded virus, including fever. He will undergo a test on Tuesday.

Delhi government has not allowed hotels and banquet halls in the city to reopen because they may be needed to be turned into makeshift hospitals if Covid-19 infections continue to spike.

Every day marks a new record in spike in infections in India, but the World Health Organisation, WHO, has been sanguine about the increase in positive cases.

Disease has not exploded: WHO

“In South Asia, not just in India, but in Bangladesh, Pakistan and other countries of South Asia with large dense populations, the disease has not exploded,” Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergency expert, said at a news conference.

According to Soumya Swaminathan, WHO’s chief scientist, India’s spread of the pandemic “looks big, but for a country of this size it is still modest.”

India has recorded 256,611 positive cases so far, according to latest statistics from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare here. Of these 124,430 patients have recovered while 7,200 have died, which leaves active cases numbering 124,981.

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