efe-epaBangkok Desk

New Zealand declared a national state of emergency Wednesday as 50 new cases were announced and the country prepared to go into lockdown at midnight.

“A state of national emergency has been declared today due to COVID-19 at 12.21 pm by the Minister of Civil Defence, the honorable Peeni Henare,” director of Civil Defence Emergency Management Sarah Stuart-Black said in a press conference at parliament in Wellington. EFE-EPA