The country of New Zealand has reported no new cases of Covid-19 and are no longer treating anyone with the virus – a success story for the world during this pandemic.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that all of the remaining restrictions on people and businesses will be removed as the country heads toward getting things back to normal. New Zealand earlier reported the last of the patients had recovered, and now that there are no new cases, making it one of the only countries in the world to have successfully eradicated the virus.
Prime Minister Ardern said, “We united in unprecedented ways to crush the virus,” and “Our goal was to move out the other side as quickly and as safely as we could. We now have a head-start on our economic recovery.” New Zealand’s strategy for eliminating the virus was one unlike any other in the world, because they had the means to do so. They had a very aggressive elimination strategy, starting on March 25 with a four-week nationwide lockdown. Industries and schools were closed completely, and the only shops allowed to stay open were supermarkets and some pharmacies. All non-essential travel was prohibited, and they closed their borders. For a wealthy island nation, this was feasible, and it was considered one of if not the strictest lockdown in the world.
Borders still will remain closed to visitors, which hurts New Zealand’s tourism, but they are allowing some foreign worker’s in and they all must observe a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.
“We must remain mindful of the global situation and the harsh reality that the virus will be in our world for some time to come,” Ardern said. “We are confident we have eliminated transmission of the virus in New Zealand for now, but elimination is not a point in time, it is a sustained effort.”
New Zealand recorded a total of 1,504 confirmed and probable cases of Covid-19 and 22 deaths. It hasn’t had a new case for 17 days.