Ardern thanks supermarket, bank workers and cleaners 'on behalf of all NZ'

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern thanked the country today "for their commitment to staying at home".

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She said nurses, doctors and firefighters are now joined by supermarket workers, bank workers and cleaners. Source: 1 NEWS

The country is on its first day of Alert Level 4, where the nation, except for essential services, goes into self-isolation.

"Everything, broadly is running as smoothly as expected at this time."

She thanked frontline workers such as nurses, doctors and firefighters. 

"They are joined by our supermarket workers, our bank workers, our cleaners.

"On behalf of all New Zealand, I say thank you to them."

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said $1.5 billion had been paid so far under the wage subsidy scheme. 

Last Monday, the Government boosted $5.1 billion for wage subsidies up to $9.3 billion - pulling the worth of the entire business package up to $16.3 billion. 

Mr Robertson said 244,887 workers had been paid, 72,913 applications had been paid out, 111,898 applications had been approved and are about to be paid out and 47,343 were yet to be processed. 

"This is and has been the result of an extraordinary effort by Ministry of Social Development," Mr Roberston said. 

Ms Ardern spoke of today's $27m package for the social sector and community groups to "supporting New Zealanders to stay well and safe during the lockdown of Covid-19".

Due to Covid-19, there had been a 50 per cent demand in foodbags from the Auckland City Mission and the Salvation Army delivered 3,100 parcels last week. 

Ms Ardern also said the Women's Refuge would remain open, due to self-isolation proving "difficult for families confined in a small space".

She also announced former CEO of Air New Zealand Rob Fyfe would be working alongside the All of Government Response team to be a liaison and support for the private sector. 

Source: 1 NEWS

Earlier today, Director of Health Ashley Bloomfiend told media there are 73 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 and five new probable cases. 

It brings the country's total number of cases, both confirmed and probable, to 283.

He said 27 people have now recovered from Covid-19.

There were 2417 tests processed around the country yesterday, with 12,683 tests in total to date.