New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has overseen her country’s world-leading response to the coronavirus pandemic, has tested positive for COVID-19, her office announced on Saturday.
Ardern’s symptoms are moderate and she will be in home isolation for seven days, the government said in a statement.
He has already been in isolation since last Sunday, when his partner Clark Gayford tested positive, and was due to resume his parliamentary duties on Monday.
New Zealand implemented one of the world’s most restrictive approaches to managing the initial COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, and its death toll is the lowest among 892 developed countries.
However, it has experienced an Omicron surge since restrictions were eased in March, with Ardern’s positive case recorded over 50,000 in the past week.
Ardern’s arrangements for her upcoming trade mission in the United States remain unaffected, the statement said.
Details of the visit are yet to be confirmed, although she is scheduled to deliver the inaugural address at Harvard University on May 26.
Ardern will not appear in parliament for two high-profile domestic announcements – the government’s emissions reduction plan on Monday and the unveiling of the annual budget on Thursday.
“It’s a milestone week for the government and I’m disappointed I can’t be there for it,” Ardern said.
“Our emissions reduction plan sets the path for achieving our carbon zero target and the budget addresses the long-term future and security of New Zealand’s health system.
“But as I said earlier this week, being apart from COVID-19 this year has been a very Kiwi experience and my family is no different.”
Ardern shared a photo of her testing positive on Instagram.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)