New Zealand beats Coronavirus, heads towards all restrictions lifting after 17 day no-case streak and zero active cases
Celebratory moment for 5 million people who call New Zealand home, as country declared no active coronavirus cases consecutively for 17 days.
Following the streak of 17 days of no new cases with zero active cases now, New Zealand is set to lift all the restrictions that were imposed across the country as a part of coronavirus induced lockdown. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that almost all the restrictions would be lifted starting Tuesday.
Under the new “Level 1” rules the workplaces and schools would be reopened after more than 2 months. Along with that there would be no restrictions on social gatherings and no curb on domestic travel.
However, as a precautionary measure, Prime Minister said that the restrictions on non-citizens entry into country would still be prohibited with borders remaining closed. The residents arriving in country would be required to complete 14 day mandatory quarantine.
PM praised the current achievement of winning over the coronavirus in country and gave much credit to sealed borders. In a press conference on Monday in Wellington, capital of New Zealand, PM Jacinda Ardern said, “This freedom from restrictions relies though heavily on the ongoing role that our border controls will play in keeping the virus out… The virus will be in our world for some time to come.”
What did New Zealand do right – the timeline
New Zealand got its first case of coronavirus on February 28.On March 14 when the country had just 6 cases, PM Ardern imposed the toughest border restriction at that time. Anyone entering country was required to complete 2 weeks quarantine. March 20 onwards no foreign nationals were allowed to enter the country.
On March 23, the government declared “level 3 lockdown” implementation. Non-essential businesses were shut down, public gatherings were cancelled, and schools were also closed. Offices were closed and work from home was advised for all employees, no public transport was operational and domestic flights were halted. At this time New Zealand had 102 confirmed cases of coronavirus and zero deaths.
March 25 onwards New Zealand moved on to the strictest “lockdown phase 4”. The people were now not allowed to leave home except for essential work maintaining social distancing.
On April 9, though the country was witnessing decline in new cases count, Ardern further tightened the border restrictions. The citizens and residents arriving in the country had to follow mandatory institutional quarantine of 14 days instead of home quarantine.
High testing rates along with all the measures during lockdown helped New Zealand tackle the virus spread and bring down the active cases to zero.
New Zealand leadership and citizens united in an unprecedented way to curb the coronavirus in the country and managed to achieve something really remarkable.