Speaking on Monday about recent Covid-19 cases that are linked to breaches of anti-coronavirus restrictions, Ardern aimed mighty jabs at rule breakers.
Ruling out punishments for the violators handed out directly by the government, and citing the separation of police and state, the PM urged the public to take the matter into their own hands and “call out” any rule-breakers they spot, family and friends included.
“If there is any question mark right now over there being consequences, you know, those individuals are facing the full judgment of the entire nation. There are consequences, undoubtedly,” Ardern stated.
The angry remarks from the PM come as it emerged that, in one of the latest coronavirus cases, the infected person had concealed their contacts from the disease tracers. Two women, one of whom had already been told to self-isolate, had gone for a walk together in defiance of the restriction.
“We have now confirmed how our latest case M and N came to be infected with Covid-19. That is because they had contact with another family that we had identified as part of the Papatoetoe cluster during level three,” Ardern told reporters earlier in the day. “I cannot tell you whether it was for fear that it occurred during level three or lack of memory.”
The new transmissions prompted the PM over the weekend to send the city of Auckland into a new seven-day lockdown within just one month. Employing tough restrictions and promptly squashing coronavirus clusters, New Zealand has fared quite well during the pandemic, detecting only some 2,300 cases, including 26 deaths.
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