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'Our vector of transmission' - Jacinda Ardern's fiery message to young adults not sticking to lockdown

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern delivered a blistering message to young adults today, urging them to take the lockdown seriously and reminding everyone that people will die from the coronavirus pandemic.

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Those in their 20s are "far and away" the most affected age range in New Zealand, the Prime Minister says. Source: 1 NEWS

Today it was announced 708 people have Covid-19 in New Zealand, an increase of 61 from yesterday, and one person has died.

Those aged between 20 and 29 are "far and away" the most affected by the virus so far, Ms Ardern said in a press conference today.

"They may think this won't affect them as much, they'll be mild to moderate. They are our vector for transmission. They're the ones who then pass it on," she says.

"So I need everyone to take this seriously. Because whilst the over 70-year-olds are smaller, they are much more likely to succumb to this illness.

"Thank you for allowing me my little rant."

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Today’s update brings the nationwide tally to 708 confirmed and probable cases. Source: 1 NEWS

Ms Ardern's message cames after a 60-person party in Queenstown was busted late last week for breaking the lockdown order.

Under the Alert Level 4 lockdown, people are ordered to stay at home unless working for an essential service or getting essentials, such as going to the supermarket or pharmacy.

People are allowed to get out for some exercise if they stay local and need to stay at least two metres away from anyone they come across.

Today Ms Ardern reiterated the importance of following the lockdown.

She and Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Director-General at the Ministry of Health, have said they expect the cases to climb over the next few weeks before seeing any impact from the lockdown on case numbers.

"We just need to keep reminding that small proportion who perhaps aren't taking it seriously, why it is so important," Ms Ardern says.

"This period of time is our chance to break the chain of transmission. The quicker we do that, the sooner we can return to some semblance of normal life. And the much better able we will be to save the lives of other New Zealanders. 

"That will be people you know. This isn't about other, this isn't about someone else, it is about you and your family, and that includes every age demographic that is."

Ms Ardern says the majority of New Zealanders have been "amazing" at following the lockdown orders, which are currently in place for four weeks but could be extended.