25 Mar 2020

Covid-19 lockdown: State of Emergency as NZ prepares

From Checkpoint, 4:06 pm on 25 March 2020

A State of Emergency has been declared as New Zealand prepares for the four-week lockdown to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Stay at home, break the chain, save lives, Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield says.

There were 50 new confirmed or probable cases of Covid-19 announced on Wednesday, bringing the total to 205 in New Zealand.

Border security will be stepped up, everyone arriving in New Zealand will be screened.

Those displaying symptoms of Covid-19 will be placed in an isolation facility. Five cases are connected to Auckland's Marist College.

All students and staff from the school should already be in isolation. Four cases in New Zealand are now regarded as community transmission, meaning health authorities don't know how they contracted it.

The good news is that 23 of the 205 Covid-19 cases are fully recovered. Six are in hospital and none have needed ICU care.

About 1,400 tests were processed on Tuesday. That's almost 10,000 tests in total.

The Tokyo Olympics has also been postponed until 2021.

RNZ political editor Jane Patterson joins Lisa Owen with the details.