New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern decided to ease restrictions related to the emerging coronavirus in most regions to the lowest levels of warning, Monday, saying that the country is moving towards eliminating Corona.

Ardern announced that New Zealand will lower its virus alert level to Category 1 on a scale of four, with the exception of Auckland, where infections have been recorded recently.

"Our collective actions brought the virus under control," she said. Her government has won global acclaim for its handling of the Coronavirus crisis.

This decision means that gatherings such as the upcoming rugby match in Wellington on October 11th will be held without any restrictions.

New Zealand recorded 25 deaths from the epidemic out of a population of five million, while no new cases were recorded on Monday.

It was believed that the country was on the verge of eliminating the virus at some point after a hundred days had passed without any infection being recorded, following the imposition of a tight lockdown at the national level between late March and late May.

Ardern said eliminating the virus remains New Zealand's goal. She added: "The analysis that has been completed for the Ministry of Health indicates that by the end of this month there will be an equal chance of 50-50 to eliminate Covid-19 again."

But she clarified that Oakland "needs more time" to eliminate the hotbeds of injuries discovered last month in the city of 1.5 million people.

She said, "This was the epicenter of the epidemic and that is why we must be careful there."

The source of the Oakland focus is still unknown, but health authorities say it is not of the same virus strain that was detected earlier this year.

Nevertheless, Ardern confirmed that the intensive testing and contact tracing of the patients contribute to keeping this focus under control.