New Zealand PM tests positive for COVID-19, to work ‘via zoom’
SYDNEY — New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has tested positive for COVID-19 and will work remotely while isolating, his office said on Sunday, two weeks out from a general election.
Hipkins has cold and flu symptoms that began on Saturday and would isolate for five days or until he returned a negative test, the prime minister’s office said in a statement.
“He will continue with engagements he can undertake via zoom,” the statement said.
The positive test will keep Hipkins temporarily on the campaign sidelines ahead of the Oct. 14 general election, as his struggling incumbent Labour party seeks to win another term in office.
Hipkins on Sunday was due attend a Samoan church service in Auckland, but a spokesperson said Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni would attend in his place.
The prime minister’s office said further updates on his schedule “will be provided in due course”.
The government lifted all remaining COVID-19 requirements in August, but health authorities still recommend that people stay home for five days if feeling unwell or if they have tested positive to COVID-19.
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