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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the public should expect to see more coronavirus cases over the next fortnight, despite the looming lockdown,
Kiwis are bracing for four weeks of house arrest and a ban on non-essential travel, with a coronavirus lockdown needed to save "tens of thousands" of lives, says the Prime Minister.
Speaking to Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking this morning Ardern acknowledged that the number of confirmed cases will still continue to rise, but the hope was that those numbers would slow down also.
The pandemic has claimed more than 15,000 lives, with more than 350,000 cases in total. New Zealand has 102 cases.
The dangers to Europe and the US have grown exponentially, and the UK is set to announce today an even stricter lockdown policy that will likely include the closure of all shops except supermarkets, food stores and pharmacies. The new measures come as the NHS announced 46 more people have died from Covid-19 in England in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of UK deaths to 335.
Across the Tasman, experts warn up to 15 million Australians could contract coronavirus within months as cases continue to skyrocket. Australia has recorded 1717 cases of the virus across all states with seven deaths so far.
Italy has banned domestic travel and shut down a range of industries as its PM begs for a final 10-day push to stop the spread of coronavirus. Italy has become the hardest hit country outside of China. It has recorded 59,138 cases, 5476 deaths and 7024 recovered from the disease.
In New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern warned that doing something as simple as meeting a friend for lunch could imperil lives and see Covid-19 alert level 4 - which comes into effect at 11.59pm on Wednesday - extended.
In the latest in a series of increasingly extreme measures, New Zealand streets will empty from midnight tomorrow as schools and universities close and non-essential services - including bars, restaurants, gyms, cinemas, museums and libraries - all shut up shop.
Instead there will be a strong presence of police and the military, who could quarantine those without a legit reason to be out of their homes.
Valid reasons include being involved in essential services such as supermarkets, banks, GPs, pharmacies and service stations, or getting supplies from such services.