New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a "level 3" coronavirus shutdown of the entire country, with all non-essential services ordered to cease operations immediately, and schools given a definitive timeline to close, far outstripping the response of the Australian Federal Government, which continues to insist that schools should remain open.
The country now has 102 confirmed Covid-19 cases and the Ministry of Health says the virus is spreading in the community.
"If community transmission takes off in New Zealand the number of cases will double every five days", she said.
Due to the early and strong steps that we have taken, New Zealand is fortunate not to be as hard-hit by the virus as other countries but the trajectory is clear.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced added economic measures, including a freeze on rent increases, an increase to the wage subsidy scheme announced last week and support for mortgage holders.
"This will allow New Zealanders seeking to return home to do so prior to the country moving to alert level four", a spokesman said.
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"We must give time for supermarkets to restock their shelves - there will be enough for everyone if we shop normally", Ardern said.
"If you do not have immediate needs, do not go to the supermarket".
But Ms Ardern says it's better to introduce harsh measures now rather than watch the number of cases skyrocket over time.
The measure, which is New Zealand's highest alert level, has called for the closure of all non-essential services, including schools, offices, bars, restaurants and movie theaters.
In Guam, medical authorities reported a further 12 cases taking the total to 26 with a 27th who died at the weekend - the first Covid-19 death in the Oceania region, reports the Pacific Daily News.
All schools will be closed from Tuesday, she said. No indoor or outdoor events can proceed. Affected educational facilities would be closed, and alternative ways of working are required.
New Zealand's opposition National Party said it had put on hold its campaign for a general election on 19 September. Now I am asking you to do everything you can to protect all of us.