(Reuters) – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has tested positive for COVID-19 with moderate symptoms, her office said in a statement on Saturday.
She will not be in parliament for the government’s emissions reduction plan on Monday and the next budget on Thursday.
“Travel arrangements for his trade mission to the United States are unaffected at this time,” the statement added.
Ardern had been symptomatic since Friday evening, returning a weak positive overnight and a clear positive Saturday morning on a rapid antigen test (RAT), according to the statement.
At this point, her symptoms are moderate and she has been in isolation since May 8, when her partner Clarke Gayford tested positive, he said.
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Due to the positive RAT, Ardern will have to self-isolate until the morning of May 21 and undertake whatever tasks she can remotely this week.
Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson will address the media in his place on Monday.
“This is a landmark week for the government and I am disgusted that I cannot be here for it,” Ardern said in the statement.
“Our Emissions Reduction Plan charts the course to achieve our zero carbon goal and the budget addresses the long-term future and security of New Zealand’s healthcare system.
“But as I said earlier in the week, isolation with COVID-19 is a very Kiwi experience this year and my family is no different.”
(Reporting by Akanksha Khushi in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler and Himani Sarkar)
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