WELLINGTON, New Zealand — On Sunday, New Zealand marked its 100th day since it scooped out the escalation of the deadly coronavirus. Now, New Zealand is being designated as a rare bright spot in the world that continues to be plundered by a life-threatening disease.
In the nation south to the pacific, life has now returned to normalcy for almost everyone, they are now able to attend rugby games at packed stadiums and sit down in bars and restaurants without any fright of getting infected. But some analysts worry that the country is getting complacent about the pandemic and not equipping themselves well enough to tackle any upcoming Crises.
The leadership of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been universally hailed. As her work during the crisis was commendable. She reassured people during the lockdown with daily briefings and a message that echoed: “Go hard and go early.”
New Zealand’s corona tale
New Zealand had a tough time dealing with the virus, but their strategy was a full-proof one. They swept out the escalation of the virus by imposing a strict lockdown in late March when only around 100 people have tested positive for the disease. Which stopped its spread. And, since the last three months, only cases have been a handful of returning travelers. And they have been quarantined at the border.
From early on, New Zealand worked on a very bold strategy of eliminating the virus rather than just trying to suppress the escalation of the virus. An epidemiological Michael Baker said that other countries are increasingly looking to New Zealand for answers. The disparity was made through real research and great political leadership “Michael Baker is a professor of epidemiology at Otago University.
Did other nations mismanage the threat?
In another statement given to media, Baker proclaimed that the whole Western land has ridiculously mismanaged this entire pandemic. And they’re realizing their mistakes now, Baker said.
He said many leaders saw a false polarity between protecting lives and protecting their eco-systems. When in fact businesses thrive best when they have conviction about things like diseases.
NewZealand’s strategy for beating COVID-19
The fast and strong lockout
On 15 March, when New Zealand only had 100 confirmed cases and no deaths, it closed its doors to foreigners and made its citizens isolate in their homes for 14 days
Then 10 days later, it introduced full lockdown measures, which were strict by international standards. Just grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, and gas stations could remain accessible, car movement was restricted, and social contact outside households was restricted.
Those restrictions continued for about a month before they were slowly Liberalized again. Now, all social and economic restrictions have been lifted, and only frontier restrictions persist.
The lockdown rules were vital as they helped to control the spread of virus early and bought precious time that other countries spent lamenting over the economic losses
The rules were communicated effectively
Just before the strict lockdown, the government sent emergency text messages to all the residents. “This is a message for all of New Zealand. We are depending on you,” it read. “Where you stay tonight is where you must stay from now on … it is likely measures will stay in place for several weeks.”
According to a wellington citizen, the government was good at managing the crisis. He said they were told it would take two weeks for signs that the lockdown was having an impact on the numbers. This made the intent of lockdown easy to understand and embrace. Consistent communications on wellbeing and regular contact goals, P.M.’s press conference directly to the population, fetched support from the public.
The country uplifted its testing capacity
Ardern announced the country could process up to Eight thousand tests a day, one of the highest test rates per capita. In all, they examined about 295,000 individuals, making it a relatively highest per capita test rate.
Geography was an advantage
The fact that Newzealand is a relatively isolated island has greatly helped New Zealand’s pandemic response. It has more influence over its frontiers than other massive land-border countries.
New Zealand also has a fairly low population density, which means that the virus can’t pass across the population freely as fewer people come across each other.
It followed the pandemic guidebook properly
The Government of New Zealand adopted the appropriate recommendations to combat a new virus.
Preventing the virus’s spread also means the country can begin its economic recovery sooner. Ardern said the economy would now operate at just 3.8% below normal.
New Zealand’s economy post-pandemic.
The economy of New Zealand has flourished better than many predicted. The country has managed to keep its unemployment rate at just 4 percent. Although, many economists say the number does not include recent job losses and is likely to get considerably worse following the expiry of next month’s government-funded wage support.
Total infections were constrained to just over 1,589, and just 22 casualties in the country. Still, the international tourism industry in New Zealand has crashed. The country remains more detached from the outside world than it’s ever been.
Ardern’s government was extremely hesitant to reopen the frontier to any other country. Even as other nations do so with extreme care.
And the experience of some other countries, including Vietnam and Australia, shows how incredibly the virus can resurface suddenly, even if it seems to have been controlled.