Coronavirus: Psychologist warns against complacency after no new COVID-19 cases reported

Although Monday's announcement there were no new cases of COVID-19 was encouraging, a psychology expert is warning against growing complacent.

The country's total number of confirmed and probable cases is 1487, with 20 deaths recorded so far.

On Monday, Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced for the first time since the virus reached our shores there were no new cases recorded.

The news comes as Kiwis eagerly wait to see if the Government will announce a shift to alert level 2 on May 11.

But Dr Christopher Gale, a psychologist from the University of Otago, says Kiwis should prepare themselves mentally for more cases.

"No one should be assuming it's the end - because one day of no cases is good news but we really need to know just how infectious this stuff is with our current social rules and interactions," Dr Gale told Newshub.

On Monday, Dr Bloomfield said New Zealand would remain at alert level 3 for the preliminary period of two weeks to ensure there was no undetected community transmission of the virus. 

The decision on whether to move to level 2 on May 11 will be made by Cabinet.

New Zealand moved to alert level 4 - meaning all non-essential businesses had to close and people were only allowed to leave their home for necessities like buying groceries or exercising - at the end of March. The lockdown was then extended past the initial four-week period before dropping to level 3, which allowed businesses deemed to be safe to reopen. 

However, the Government's decision to extend the lockdown and keep restrictions in place has been criticised by many, particularly in the business sector.

Dr Gale says officials are in uncharted territory and no good comes from criticising the Government's response. 

"All these people are making the best decisions they've got with very limited data - we have to work together to get the best results we can," he said.

"Each government has got to do a balancing act. In the northern hemisphere it's been winter and we know the death rate from viral illnesses goes up in winter."

There have been more than 3.6 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the world, with the global death toll standing at over 250,000.