Two months ago, New Zealand had announced that it was COVID-19 free and had lifted all restrictions. That success soon came to a screeching halt when two new cases had been reported.
Now, it seems the country is back on track reporting it has been COVID-19 free for 100 days on Sunday, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. It was reported that life has returned to normal for the 5 million citizens of the nation.
New Zealand got the virus under control by imposing some very strict measures in late March when only about 100 people had contracted the virus. The measures worked and for the past three months, the only new cases have been the travelers returning from abroad. These new cases have also been kept under control by being quarantined upon their return.
“It was good science and great political leadership that made the difference,” professor Michael Baker, an epidemiologist at the University of Otago, told The Sydney Morning Herald. “If you look around the globe at countries that have done well, it's usually that combination.”
Baker added that the Western world is now looking to New Zealand for inspiration on how to properly tackle the virus. He added that leaders' economical concerns have stopped them from enforcing the right precautions when in reality, businesses do better when there is certainty over matters such as diseases.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been widely praised for the way she handled the COVID-19 crisis. She offered support to her people during the lockdown by issuing daily briefings and a message that said "Go hard and go early.”
This clearly worked as the country registered just 1500 cases and only 22 deaths. This does not mean the nation is not facing any struggles. Due to travel bans its tourism has collapsed.
In addition, there is the fear that coronavirus can flare up once again on short notice especially now that all restrictions have been lifted. Time will tell how New Zealand continues to perform but for now, it is nice to see at least one nation sharing some positive news.