New Zealand claims it won the battle against coronavirus spread

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand's top health official Ashley Bloomfield told a briefing on Monday he's confident "we have achieved our goal of elimination" of the novel coronavirus following days of reporting single-digit cases. The country on Monday moves from alert level 4, enabling New Zealanders to travel around their regions, not just their neighborhoods, and for some non-essential businesses and schools to reopen.

However, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warns that while the virus may be "currently" eliminated, it's important not to become complacent. "There is no widespread undetected community transmission in New Zealand," she said. "We have won that battle. But we must remain vigilant if we are to keep it that way."

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

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

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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