Today marks a week in lockdown, with the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern praising most of NZ’s ‘amazing’ response; and healthcare workers say coronavirus tests are being withheld because of limited supply, despite the prime minister’s insistence clinicians have both the resources and permission to test.
* The New Zealand Herald
In the New Zealand Herald, today marks a week in lockdown, with the Prime Minister praising most of NZ’s ‘amazing’ response. However, Civil Defence has again reiterated: ‘Staying home saves lives’. Jacinda Ardern also hinted that some regions could have lockdown terms eased before others.
In other news, the Government wants more testing for Covid-19 in regions with low confirmed cases before deciding whether some could have conditions of the lockdown eased, says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. With today marking a week since the lockdown began, Ardern praised the majority of New Zealanders for their “amazing” response.
In business news, the New Zealand dollar was weaker as the market digested Treasury’s plan to sell $17 billion of Government bonds before the end of June and after another down day on Wall Street. The kiwi was trading at 59.48 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 60.16 cents at the same time yesterday. The trade-weighted index was at 68.09 from 68.79.
* The Dominion Post
In the Dominion Post, everyday we stay home and do our bit. Everyday the Government releases a new set of numbers. More cases of Covid-19. More people in hospitals, more people who have recovered. And more tests are being run. But there’s something a bit off about the numbers. We’re told sitting at home will help break community transmission of the virus yet there’s little such transmission being found.
In other news, driving through Wellington’s empty streets, bus driver Tigger Wells was struck by the magnitude of change. The lockdown was like some bizarre experiment. Maybe simply stepping back and observing was one way of maintaining sanity. Bizarre things would happen, predictable things, inexplicable things, wonderful things, immensely sad things.
In business news, Victoria University is defending its decision to suspend all classes until April 28 due to the Covid-19 lockdown. It is the only university in New Zealand to announce a full suspension, with others opting to move classes online as soon as possible.
* The Press
In The Press, healthcare workers say coronavirus tests are being withheld because of limited supply, despite the prime minister’s insistence clinicians have both the resources and permission to test. A new coronavirus testing criteria was released late yesterday, permitting the testing of patients with Covid-19 symptoms but no connection to overseas travel or another coronavirus case.
In other news, thousands of inquiries from beneficiaries and wage subsidy seekers are stretching Work and Income resources, frustrating those urgently seeking help. The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) says phone networks nationwide are overloaded and it is experiencing ‘‘very high demand’’ for services as the coronavirus pandemic crunches the Kiwi economy.
In business news, moteliers are facing thousands of dollars of rent due each month and barely any guests as the Covid-19 pandemic kills trade. Some landlords are agreeing to rent reductions and waivers for limited periods but others are turning a deaf ear.