We’ve made it through day one of the lockdown – a day unlike any this country has known before. The streets were nearly all deserted as most people obeyed instructions and stayed home. There were the now-familiar briefings from the Prime Minister and the police commissioner on the latest developments, but for the first time in weeks coronavirus was not the only big story of the day.
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• Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a $27m package for social sector groups to help those most vulnerable to deal with the increase in demand for such services during the lockdown. She said the first day of the lockdown had run fairy smoothly so far and also answered questions about the sudden guilty plea by Christchurch mosque mass killer Brenton Tarrant.
• Director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield says there are 78 new cases of Covid 19, including 73 confirmed cases and five new probable cases. The new cases bring the total number of confirmed or probable infections to 283.
• Matt Nippert reports that insolvency practioners have seen inquiries double in the past week as a result of the rapidly deepening Covid 19 crisis, and are now advising business owners who had never before considered the possibility of liquidation.
Around the world
• In Europe, the thinning ranks of doctors and nurses, particularly in Spain, are hampering the ability to fight the epidemic, straining hospitals and raising fears that health workers are spreading the coronavirus. Out of Spain’s 40,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, 5400 — nearly 14 per cent — are medical professionals.
• Olympic athletes had been voicing concerns about the 2020 Tokyo Games for some time, worrying that they were jeopardising their health and the health of others. Yet when the news finally came, it was the ultimate mixed blessing: a lifeline for some and a new set of challenges that may be insurmountable because of financial, age or health issues for others.
What we’re learning from this
Three of our columnists have weighed in with their takes on the lockdown.
• Mike Hosking reckons a time of crisis allows us the chance to do something good and is a reason to shake things up.
• Fran O’Sullivan says we need to nail down the border tighter and refuse to let selfish people who may carry the virus ignore the self-isolation rules.
• Meanwhile Claire Trevett explains what the politics of Covid 19 has in common with Monty Python and Thomas the Tank Engine.
Check our graphic for the latest case numbers in New Zealand and around the world.