New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Saturday informed that "despite best efforts", she has tested positive for Covid-19. Ardern, who is fully vaccinated, posted a photo of her positive test result on Instagram and said that she was "gutted" to miss several important political announcements over the coming week, including the release of the government's annual budget and a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Ardern had been isolating at her Wellington residence since Sunday after her fiance Clarke Gayford tested positive for the virus. She also disclosed that her three-year-old daughter, Neve, had tested positive for the virus on Wednesday.
"Despite best efforts, unfortunately I’ve joined the rest of my family and have tested positive for COVID 19. We’ve been isolating since Sunday when Clarke first tested positive. Neve tested positive on Wednesday and I returned a weak positive last night and a strong one this morning," the 41-year-old wrote in her caption.
Under New Zealand's health rules, people must isolate for seven days if somebody in their household tests coronavirus positive.
"There are so many important things happening for the Government this week - the release of our Emissions Reduction Plan on Monday and the Budget on Thursday. I’m gutted to miss being there in person, but will be staying in close touch with the team and sharing some reckons from here," Ardern added.
She said that "To anyone else out there, isolating or dealing with COVID, I hope you take good care of yourselves!"
In her post, Ardern did not describe her symptoms, although her office said in a statement she had begun experiencing symptoms on Friday.
Ardern, notably, has become the latest in a long list of world leaders to contract the virus. Among the first and most serious cases was British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was hospitalised for a week in April 2020 before vaccines were available.
New Zealand has this year experienced its first major outbreak as the Omicron variant has rapidly spread.