New Zealand coronavirus cases stopped 17 days back when there were no more fresh cases of the infection. The country has reported no COVID-19 cases for a long time. They have officially declared to eliminate the virus completely.
On Monday, the last patient with coronavirus in New Zealand, recovered completely. It made NZ one of the countries to be able to eradicate the pathogen. Only a handful of countries could claim to have no cases at all.
The news came in few hours before PM Jacinda Ardern was expected to announce lifting lockdown for the public and businesses. Apart from maintaining strict border controls to keep the virus out, the country will soon bounce back to normalcy.
How did corona cases stop in NZ?
The country took up a powerful elimination strategy by suppressing transmission. It was only possible due to the lockdown. Only essentials were available and everyone else had to work from home. While it triggered a recession, the government stated that eradication of the virus will mean quicker recovery of the economy compared to many other countries.
According to the Ministry of Health, if a country reports no new cases from the time the last person was contracted with the virus, then there are no chances of another outbreak. The time period will complete on June 15 and after that, the country will be free of COVID-19.
The lockdown in New Zealand lasted for seven weeks and ended on May 14. The nation is moving towards reopening the alert level to 1, which will remove the last few restrictions kept till now. Even social distancing will be allowed if there are no new cases within the next week.
PM Jacinda Ardern has time and again proven to be one of the best leaders. Her masterclass in crisis management has won her lots of praise in the country and abroad. She has taken a place in the hearts of the people who have voted for her. However, the recession can leave an impact on vote in September. Moreover, having closed borders is leaving a bad impact on the tourism sector. Travel is a great means of earning for New Zealand but the possibility of its recovery until there is a vaccine found is low.
There were also criticisms related to how well Australia managed to have a similar number of cases but fewer restrictions. They allowed industries to operate, construction to go on, and consumers were still being able to go to the salon and buy takeaway food. It kept a lot of low wage earners sustain jobs.
New Zealand being COVID-19 free will open new avenues for people within. They’re also in talks to open travel with Australia. The Education Minister said that the country might become more desirable for foreign students as well. However, they will have to serve a 14 day quarantine.
The way New Zealand eliminated the virus has a lengthie incubation period than influenza. This is as five to six days on an average and as long as two weeks when compared with two-three days of flu. This means that the authorities have to find and isolate people who came in contact with an infected person before they become infectious themselves.
New Zealand coronavirus cases were only 1,154 with a death toll of 22 people.