Wellington, May 5 (IANS) The New Zealand government on Tuesday announced that the State of National Emergency to support the COVID-19 response will be extended for a sixth time, for a further seven days.
The initial declaration was made on March 25, and the seven-day declaration can be extended as many times as necessary, reports Xinhua news agency.
It does not change the COVID-19 Alert Level.
“On the advice of the Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management and after consultation with the prime minister, I consider the State of National Emergency should remain in place to support the COVID-19 response,” Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said.
“With Level 3 acting as our recovery room from COVID-19, we need to ensure extra vigilance to lock in the gains of Level 4 in stamping out the virus and ensure it doesn’t bounce back.
“The powers activated by the State of National Emergency enable critical work to be carried out during this time including managing roads, traffic and public places; providing first aid, food, shelter and accommodation.
“It is heartening to see that most New Zealanders are continuing to do the right thing by following the rules as we begin to rebuild together to get the economy moving again.”
“Police are enforcing the rules of level 3, particularly around mass gatherings, and are dealing swiftly with those breaking the rules,” Henare added.
As of Tuesday, New Zealand has 1,486 COVID-19 cases, with 20 deaths.