From May 23 to June 14, 2020, New Zealand experienced admittedly zero new coronavirus cases. These numbers stand up in stark contrast to the totals coming in from many other countries around the world, including the United States, which reported more than than 500,000 new cases during that time.
Throughout 2020, New Zealand experienced a few spikes in positive cases: In August, positive COVID-19 infections peaked at 19 cases, and, in October, officials recorded a loftier of 25 positive cases. Although there has been no community transmission of the novel coronavirus in New Zealand since Nov 18, 2020, around 10 cases were recorded in mid-Dec, stemming from the travelers using the country’s all-encompassing hotel quarantine organisation.
All of this to say, New Zealand has continued to continue novel coronavirus cases at bay. To date, New Zealand has seen ii,181 cases of COVID-19, whereas, to appointment, the United States has seen a staggering 20.seven million cases. The disparity between these infection rates has prompted many to question just how New Zealand was able to “vanquish” COVID-xix. Amid fears of a new strain of the virus, New Zealand is continuing to exercise caution and, in doing so, has fix an example we could all learn from.
Free Community Testing
While the initial testing procedures in New Zealand instructed healthcare workers to merely exam those who had recently traveled and were experiencing multiple COVID-xix symptoms, the land quickly eased these restrictions to allow for greater testing. New Zealand has about 4.8 million people, and, to appointment, fewer than .03% of the population has caught the novel coronavirus to date.
Role of the country’s success tin can be attributed to just how early on the testing began. Between late Feb and tardily May 2020, nearly 6% of the country’s population was tested for COVID-19. Gratuitous voluntary testing was offered in supermarkets all across the country, allowing scientists to get a glimpse into pocket-size and large communities and monitor if the virus was yet infecting new people in those areas.
If the New Zealand regime had waited to secure testing supplies for its citizens and failed to implement widespread testing procedures, it’s possible the virus could accept spread much faster. Individuals with confirmed diagnoses of COVID-19 must isolate themselves to remove the risk to their community, and widespread testing makes that safety measure possible. With greater testing comes greater societal safety, shorter lockdown periods and more rapid medical response to those who need it the most.
3 days before New Zealand experienced its offset real respite from COVID-nineteen, the land’s Ministry of Wellness released the NZ COVID Tracer app. This smartphone/tablet application encourages citizens to fix up an business relationship with their personal data and so allow the app to monitor their movements via scannable QR codes on the exteriors of buildings. GPS features may be added in the future.
Users who access the app can also study troubling symptoms. Afterward the symptoms are reviewed, the user may be referred to a nearby testing facility. If they test positive, they will receive an abundance of information about self-isolating at dwelling house, or they tin immediately seek handling at a medical middle.
Contact tracing has allowed the regime to deploy supplies and services to those with the greatest demand. While some may not approve of the monitoring aspect involved in contact tracing, information technology has helped quell the coronavirus outbreak. With each passing week, contact tracing helps eliminate the resurgence of new cases.
Stay-calm pleas and campaigns frequently came too tardily and received too little enforcement in countries such as Italy, England and the United states of america. New Zealand’s citizens began cocky-isolating in March, and they took the shelter-in-place mentality seriously. Without a doubt, it helped that the nation’south Prime number Government minister, Jacinda Ardern, used Facebook to communicate with her boyfriend Kiwis throughout the shelter-in-place period. Her down-to-earth nature, friendliness and requests for kindness and agreement helped encourage others to follow suit. Citizens were allowed to exit their homes for essential needs, but the streets chop-chop became barren places.
With the majority of the population staying safe in their homes, the community spread of the virus immediately stagnated and, for a long time, ceased. Over the summertime, the government launched a campaign urging folks with a cough to “sit this one out,” creating a communal spirit around fighting the spread of the virus, all while acknowledging the challenges of lockdown. This trend is 1 of the most powerful examples of what a defended, empathetic and careful customs tin can practice to protect themselves from COVID-19. Considering this common lockdown was so successful, the state began to lift restrictions but a month or so afterward its initial inception.
Advice betwixt the New Zealand authorities and its people has been exceptionally straightforward and clear during the COVID-19 pandemic. Generally, this communication came in the form of Prime Government minister Jacinda Ardern’s Facebook chats, although official press conferences were held earlier and afterwards the shelter-in-place period.
Still, the people in New Zealand saw their elected leader taking extreme measures to protect herself, her family unit and her fellow citizens from catching the novel coronavirus. She had no qualms most washing her easily, restricting her outdoor motility and activities, and using a face mask and gloves when she had to purchase groceries.
She provided an excellent example for others to follow, and she made a habit of logging on and opening a dialogue between herself and her constituents via Facebook Live. These consistent and heartfelt updates kept citizens informed and calm and ultimately helped adjourn connected panic-buying and stockpiling.
While the Prime Minister was administering hopeful talks from home, the people were listening. For the most part, every New Zealand resident took the growing threat of infection seriously and did their part to reduce the spread of COVID-xix.
This waterfall of protective action began with government suggestions and ended at home, where parents discussed rubber measures and social distancing with their children. Earlier schools began to close, instructors prepared their students by addressing personal health and condom techniques (hand washing, wearing a mask, non touching your eyes or rima oris).
Continued Efforts in 2021
In mid-June 2020, New Zealand reported its first new cases in more than than three weeks when 2 women re-entering the country from the United Kingdom tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Thanks to contact tracing, officials were able to monitor the 302 individuals that the ii women came into contact with, thus mitigating a serious outbreak.
Since that scare, New Zealand’south Prime Minister deployed military machine personnel to enforce proper quarantine processes for travelers. While the country did shut its borders for a time, it reopened them to citizens with a strict hotel quarantine procedure in place. That is, travelers are required to prove a negative COVID-19 test before their departure and, upon their arrival, must undergo a two-calendar week quarantine process.
So far, this system has helped adjourn infection rates — and it’southward clear that this kind of caution will exist peculiarly instrumental as countries around the world navigate the new strain of COVID-19 that’s cropped upwards in the Britain. All of this to say, remaining vigilant seems to be the best course of action — one that other countries around the world could stand up to replicate.