Bloomfield 'planning a holiday - if that's all right'

Director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield has announced he is taking a break next week, after spending the past six months fighting and keeping New Zealanders informed about the Covid-19 pandemic.

During a press conference this afternoon, Bloomfield was asked by a reporter if he had time to pause and reflect on how much has changed since Covid-19 spread across the world at the start of the year.

"I haven't had much time to pause I might say," he responded.

"But I am being invited to reflect on some aspects of the response to date and really what has changed over that time."

He then gleefully mentioned that he is taking a break next week.

"I am planning to have a bit of a holiday next week - if that's all right," he asked rhetorically.

"But when I come back, we could maybe do a little bit of reflection on some of the key events that has happened over that time."

Even though he is taking a short break, Bloomfield reiterated that the country still a has long road ahead and said the Government will keep doing well as long as it keeps learning, adapting and acting collectively.

Bloomfield's work on New Zealand's Covid-19 response has been praised by many Kiwis, with his followers aka "Bloomers" making a Bloomfield fan page on Facebook, creating and selling Bloomfield merch and creating a petition to name him New Zealander of the Year.

Just recently, Kiwis put their money together to buy Blooms for Bloomfield after a video Minister of Health David Clarke throwing Bloomfield "under the bus" went viral.

The money raised on Twitter to buy flowers for Bloomfield has instead been donated to charity and used to buy four personal alarms for people who need them.

The Aunties, one of the two charities who received the money, has announced it used the $1284 it received to purchase four Safelet personal alarms.

But Bloomfield told the AM Show that he still received some flowers and cupcakes,

"I did get some flowers, very nice. I want to thank those who sent them. A family sent me some cupcakes as well and I think there was some money raised, which I am really thrilled to see has gone to a charity to protect women from domestic violence," he said.

"Really pleased to see that has happened and appreciate people's support, not just for me, but for our team here in the ministry that continues to work really hard to protect them."

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