Ardern: New Zealand will ease measures to combat COVID-19 “far beyond the peak of Amicron”.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that measures to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 could begin to weaken as soon as the country finds itself on the other side of Amicron Peak. Bianca de Marche / EPA-EFE

February 21 (UPI) – New Zealand will begin repealing health measures related to COVID-19, beyond the peak of cases that are not expected to happen in another three to six weeks, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday.

During press conference after the Cabinetthe prime minister said cases were steadily rising due to the rapid spread of the Omicron option with forecasts showing that its peak would not come until mid-late March.

“It is likely that then, very soon, we will all know people who have COVID, or we will potentially get it ourselves,” she said.

She said that although at some point it was a “terrible prospect”, it should not be for three reasons that the nation is highly vaccinated that the virus will cause disease of mild to moderate severity mostly due to vaccination and such measures. both masks, collection limits and vaccine passes have slowed the spread to ensure the availability of hospitals for those who may suffer from serious illness in the event of infection.

“While this plan is working,” she said.

The country has faced relatively fewer cases of COVID-19 infection and related deaths amid the pandemic, but this winter it has struggled with a rapid increase in cases. Measures have recently been taken to prevent the spread of the virus with protests inspired by the so-called Freedom Convoy, which landed in the Canadian capital Ottawa late last month.

Police spent dozens of arrests in connection with a protest near the Parliament of New Zealand in Wellushtan.

Ardern said measures to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 would be weakened on the other side of the peak if they expect a rapid reduction in the number of cases and then stabilize them at a lower level.

“This is the moment when we can start doing things hard,” she said, adding, “Once we get to the other side of the peak, it will become clearer that we have reached our peak and that we have succeeded, that our hospitals have coped. , and we can begin to weaken the public health measures that have done their job of slowing the wave. “

In its three-tier traffic light system, New Zealand is at the highest level of red, which has the most restrictions associated with COVID-19, which include wearing masks in most indoor areas and showing a vaccine pass to visit cafes and bars.

Ardern said that without these measures during the spread of Omicron the country would have had to resort to more general restrictions that apply to everyone.

“They’ve always been the least bad option,” she said. “But although they were necessary, I also said they were also temporary.”

She said that once they leave Omicron Peak, the rules could be changed because more people are exposed to the virus.

“Simply put, the reason we will be able to move away from vaccines and many mandates is that more people will be sick of COVID,” she said.

It is not possible to name a specific date to start reducing the measures, but she said it will start when they “reached a peak and the pressure on our health care system becomes manageable.”

The press conference was held according to police, eight people arrestedseven for hooliganism, as about 300 officers were involved in the morning operation to prevent protesters from interfering with forklift operators who were erecting concrete barriers at eight locations along the outer perimeter of the protest in Wellington.

Seven officers were injured during the operation, it is specified that some of them also threw human excrement at them.

According to government dataNew Zealand reported more than 33,300 COVID-19 infections, including 53 deaths, amid the pandemic. Ardern: New Zealand will ease measures to combat COVID-19 “far beyond the peak of Amicron”.

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