New Zealand on Monday extended its coronavirus lockdown for another week while the prime minister voiced optimism on stemming the pandemic, official media said.
According to state-run Radio New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the extension till April 27 after a Cabinet meeting.
"We have done what very few countries have been able to do; we have stopped the wave of devastation. Our transmission rate is now 0.48, overseas the average is 2.5 people," RNZ quoted Ardern as saying.
The country will remain in a level three lockdown for another two weeks after stepping down from level four next Monday, she said.
Under the level three alert, people stay at home unless they must leave for essential work or service, but businesses are allowed to resume, and schools can reopen for some students, and funerals and weddings of up to 10 people are also allowed, according to RNZ.
New Zealand has so far confirmed 1,440 coronavirus cases in the country including nine on Sunday.
At least 12 people have died, while 974 have successfully recovered and been discharged from hospital, according to state-run media.
* Writing by Islamuddin SajidAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.