New Zealand heading into lockdown

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the country will head into a month-long lockdown within 48 hours in a bid to stop community spread of the deadly coronavirus.
New Zealand has 102 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 strain, with 36 new cases today alone.
Ms Ardern made the announcement in a national press conference where she lifted the nation’s COVID-19 alert level system from level 2 to level 3.
She said Cabinet had met and agreed that after 48 hours the country would move to a level 4 alert, effectively shutting down it down.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has lifted New Zealand's COVID-19 alert level to three and will go to alert level four in 48 hours as the government works to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has lifted New Zealand’s COVID-19 alert level to three and will go to alert level four in 48 hours as the government works to stop the spread of COVID-19. (Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
“These decisions will place the most significant restrictions on New Zealander’s movements in modern history,” she said.
“This is not a decision taken lightly. But it is our best chance to slow the virus and to save lives.”

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Ms Ardern warned that if community transmission takes off, the number of cases will double every five days.
COVID-19 alert levels for New Zealand.
COVID-19 alert levels for New Zealand. (NZ Government)
“If that happens unchecked, our health system will be inundated and tens of thousands of New Zealanders will die,” she said.

“There is no easy way to say that, but it is the reality that we have seen overseas and the possibility that we may face here.”

She said supermarkets, doctors, pharmacies, service stations and access to essential banking services will be available in the country at “every alert level”.
“If you do not have immediate needs, do not go to the supermarket. It will be there for you today. It will be there for you tomorrow. And the day after that. We must give time for supermarkets to restock their shelves.”