New Zealand reached a milestone in its battle against coronavirus today; for the first time since the pandemic prompted a total lockdown, there are no patients in hospitals being treated for Covid-19.
"Currently, there is nobody in hospital with Covid-19 following the discharge of a person from Middlemore Hospital," said Dr. Ashley Bloomfield, the Director-General of Health, at a press conference today.
"We've had a number of people in hospital -- 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."
There are still 21 active cases, but they are not hospitalized at this time, he said.
There were also no new deaths reported today, and no new cases for the fifth consecutive day, he said.
The country now has 1,504 cases and 21 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
The New Zealand timeline: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern first announced on March 14 that incoming travelers would need to self isolate for two weeks. At the time, the country had six cases.
When, on March 19, Ardern banned foreigners from entering the country, there were 28 confirmed cases.
And on March 23, when Ardern announced that the country was going into full lockdown, there were 102 confirmed cases -- and no deaths.
The tough measures seem to have paid off: The country was able to ease restrictions starting May 14, reopening businesses and public spaces in gradual phases.
People are now able to go back to bars, exercise in parks, and return to school.
But Bloomfield warned residents today to continue taking precautions like social distancing when possible. The country remains in Alert Level 2, which indicates the disease is contained but there is still risk of community transmission.