Covid-19 What We Can Learn From New Zealand
If you haven’t been paying close attention to the news, then pay attention to this article. New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has a lot to celebrate right now: the country has been free of the coronavirus, with no known new cases from community spread for 100 days. This is pretty impressive!
Learn how they tackled the virus and became the poster child for a COVID-free country.
First let’s put some things out there. By no means are these facts trying to lessen the importance of New Zealand’s amazing feat, but they are important to know for perspective.
- New Zealand’s current population according to the 2020 census is roughly 4,822,33 people.
- New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean and covers an area of 268,021 square kilometres.
- The first known case of COVID-19 in New Zealand happened on Feb. 28, 2020.
Now that you have some context surrounding New Zealand, let’s take a look at some of the ways Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took matters into her own hands for the health and safety of her country.
According to a CNN article in which the PM and Director-General of Health, Dr. Ashley Bloomfield have numerous statements—
- Once Ardern became aware of the spread of the virus within her country, she decided to “go hard, and go early” in respect to taking matters into her own hands.
- “When Ardern closed the border to foreigners on March 19, the country only had 28 confirmed cases. And when she announced a nationwide lockdown on March 23, there were only 102 confirmed cases — and no deaths,” said Bloomfield.
- “New Zealand’s lockdown was relatively strict — no takeaways, no beaches, and no driving outside of your neighborhood. The strictest rules were in place for around five weeks, but the country remained under effective lockdown for a further two weeks,” (CNN). In addition to this—the borders to the country were completely closed, which helped keep the virus from entering.
- “New Zealand also coupled the lockdown with tight border restrictions. Only citizens are allowed to enter the country, and they must spend two weeks in a government-approved facility,” (CNN).
Everything was calm, cool, and collected for quite a while; however, since the borders have opened back up, there have been 1,219 confirmed cases. All of these individuals are currently in a lockdown isolation facility being treated, and the majority of these cases have been from foreigners.
Unfortunately the PM may need to revert back to restrictions and close the border once again.
Regardless of the slight setback, Jacinda Ardern’s aggressive and quick measures have undoubtedly prevented the spread of COVID-19 throughout her country. She didn’t wait it out, she wasn’t playing games with people’s lives, and she stuck to her guns despite what others said or thought.
Let’s all send out some positive vibes to New Zealand so that may once again recover quickly from the virus!
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