New Zealand Minister of Health demoted after beach visit violates lockdown rules World News | Instant News


New Zealand’s health minister has been demoted after he ignored national locking rules and pushed his family to the beach 20 km from his home.

Last week Dr. David Clark photographed going for a mountain bike ride 2 km from his home in Dunedin. He apologized for the incident, saying it showed poor judgment when all New Zealanders were urged to stay at home and only exercise in their area.

Now Clark has expressed further distrust, calling himself an “idiot” for deciding to take his family 20 kilometers to Doctor’s Point beach on the first weekend of being locked up.

The rules for locking up state cars should only be used to buy important supplies such as food or medicine, and sports should be taken only in the local area.

Clark said the revelations emerged as part of his preparations to appear before the epidemic response committee on Tuesday, requiring him to provide Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern “with a complete picture of my activities outside my home during the alert level 4”.

Clark said that a trip to the beach during locking level 4 was clearly a violation, and he had offered his resignation to Ardern – who had not yet received it.

“At the time we asked New Zealanders to make a historic sacrifice, I had disappointed the team. “I’ve become an idiot, and I understand why people will be angry with me,” Clark said in a statement.

“As the minister of health, it is my responsibility to not only follow the rules but give an example to other New Zealanders … I have apologized to the prime minister for my lack of judgment and offered him my resignation.

Ardern immediately responded to Clark’s revelations, stripped him of the portfolio of his colleague’s finance minister and downgraded it to the bottom of the cabinet.

Political commentators say the possibility of Clark will lose his health portfolio when the coronavirus crisis was resolved, and criticized it for failing to show its face regularly or taking on more leadership roles, leaving the job to Dr. Ashley Bloomfield, director general of health.

“Under normal conditions, I will fire the minister of health. “What he did was wrong, and there is no reason,” Ardern said in a statement.

“But at the moment, my priority is our collective struggle against Covid-19. We cannot do massive disruption in the health sector or our response. For that reason, and that reason alone, Dr. Clark will maintain his role. “

“But he needs to pay the price. He broke the rules.”

Ardern said that New Zealanders expect their ministers to enforce rules that they have set themselves, which also try the conditions that everyone must obey.

Under level 4 locking, which has been carried out by New Zealanders for almost two weeks, Kiwis cannot leave their homes except for important supplies such as food or medicine, and can only carry out brief sports attacks in their area.

“I hope for the better, and so too New Zealand, “Ardern said.

Coronavirus cases are beginning to stabilize and decline in New Zealand, with experts saying the country may be the only western country with an opportunity to completely eradicate the disease.

“This shows that what we are doing as a nation is at work,” Ardern said at his daily press conference.

“We did appear at this early stage on track”

Fifty-four new cases of the virus were confirmed on Tuesday, bringing the total to 1,160. One person has died of the virus, an older woman with pre-existing health conditions on the west coast of South Island.

Twelve people were treated for the virus in the hospital, with four of them requiring intensive care. On Tuesday, more people recovered from illness than had it, the director general of health said, an encouraging milestone.

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