New Zealand officials report no current coronavirus patients in country's hospitals

New Zealand officials report no current coronavirus patients in country's hospitals
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Health officials in New Zealand announced this week that there are currently no COVID-19 patients in its hospitals.

Ashley Bloomfield, the country’s director-general of health, said during a press briefing on Wednesday that "there is nobody in hospital with COVID-19" following the recent discharge of a patient that had been treated at a hospital in Auckland. 

Pressed during the briefing about whether this was an accurate assessment of hospital coronavirus statistics, Bloomfield answered: “I think it is, absolutely, yes.”

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“We've had a number of people in hospital,” he went on. “Never a big number but I think this is the first time in a couple of months we haven't had someone in hospital. That's another good position to be in.”

“For the fifth consecutive day, there are no new cases of COVID-19 cases in New Zealand,” he also said. 

Just over 1,500 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in New Zealand in recent months, with 21 deaths, according to the latest Johns Hopkins University data

Bloomfield said there have been a total of 1,462 recoveries thus far, adding that, “There are just 21 remaining active cases of COVID-19.”

Over the past few months, New Zealand has earned widespread applause for its response to the COVID-19 outbreak, which has infected more than 5 million worldwide and resulted in more than 350,000 deaths globally. 

According to NBC News, the country’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, placed the nation under a strict lockdown in late March. At the time, the country had only reported roughly 100 cases of the disease. 

Though officials worldwide have focused much of their coronavirus efforts on containing the outbreak in their respective regions, the New Zealand set its sights early on in the pandemic on eliminating the outbreak. 

"Our goal is elimination," Bloomfield said last month. "And again, that doesn't mean eradication but it means we get down to a small number of cases so that we are able to stamp out any cases and any outbreak that might come out."