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New Zealand, Australia Say Too Soon To Ease Restrictions Despite Coronavirus Slowdown

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Officials in New Zealand and Australia, hailed globally for their ahead of time signs of accomplishment in fighting the spread of the coronavirus, claimed on Monday it is too quickly to commence reducing social distancing rules or reopening their economies.

The rate of new coronavirus cases has abated significantly in both countries without straining the ability of their health systems. New Zealand has imposed a wide-ranging lockdown, and Australia is also tightly limiting several activities.

New Zealand noted its fifth fatality because of coronavirus on Monday, but new verified cases in the Pacific nation of about 5 million rose only by 15, a sixth of what was seen in early April, bringing the total of cases to 1,064.

In accordance with Australia’s health ministry, the quantity of new verified cases surged on Monday by 33, the slowest rate in a month, and less than a tenth saw two weeks ago. Australia has now documented 6,322 cases, with 61 deaths.

Health Minister Greg Hunt stated it was too quick to unwind limitations in spite of the flattening in the curve of cases.”Now is the time to stay the course, to continue with these, self-isolation and social distancing,” Hunt said in a televised briefing. “These are producing real reductions in the rate of growth.”

Australia deployed its hardest crackdown yet over the long Easter holiday weekend, with helicopters, police checkpoints, and hefty fines designed to deter men and women from breaking a travel ban or breaching public gathering rules.

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy informed Australian Broadcasting Corp radio the government might begin making conclusions only “in the coming weeks” about what restrictions, if any, can be relaxed.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said a decision on whether to extend the nationwide shutdown and state of national emergency, declared in late March, will be made on April 20.

“Our number of cases may be small, but that doesn’t mean we have yet been successful in hunting this virus down,” Ardern stated. With the economies of both countries taking a severe hit, governments are shelling out heavily on cushioning the impact.

In Australia, which has already pledged spending of more than 10% of its annual gross domestic product to help the economy, the government was in talks over the weekend with top carriers Qantas Airways Ltd and Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd about subsidizing domestic flights. New Zealand’s Ardern said her government would be issuing guidance next week on the economy’s ability to recover.

“We are very aware of the need to get our economy running as soon as possible,” she said.

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