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New Zealand … Success story of fighting COVID-19

Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand is considered the first big country that wins the battle against COVID-19 announcing Zero active cases.

The following lines gives a brief about New Zealand and their journey with the battle against the new coronavirus, COVID-19

About New Zealand

New Zealand is an island country located at the south east of Australia. It is the most east country in the world (if we didn’t count Russia), and the first country to see the sunrise everyday. New Zealand has an area of around 268,000 square kilometers, and population of about 5 million.

 

COVID-19 Timeline

New Zealand COVID-19 Timeline

  • On 3 February, Government announced that travelers who left from China would be denied entry to New Zealand, with only New Zealand citizens and permanent residents and their family being allowed to enter.
  • On 19 March, Government announced the closure of New Zealand’s borders to all but New Zealand citizens and residents
  • First COVID-19 case is reported on 28 February 2020.
  • On 21 March, New Zealand introduced COVID-19 Alert System, which consists of 4 levels (in ascending order):
    • Alert Level 1 — Prepare
    • Alert Level 2 — Reduce
    • Alert Level 3 — Restrict
    • Alert Level 4 — Lockdown
  • On 25 March, New Zealand declared Alert Level 4 — Lockdown
  • On 27 April, due to the decrease of cases and the apparent control situation, New Zealand moved down to Alert Level 3 — Restrict. This is after
  • On 13 May, New Zealand moved down to Alert Level 2 — Reduce.New Zealand COVID-19
  • On 8 June, New Zealand announced Zero active cases, accordingly, the country moved down to Alert Level 1 — Prepare.

 

Generally,

  • Total duration from 1st case to announcing Zero active cases is 102 days (around 3.5 months).
  • Total duration of the successful lockdown is 34 days.

 

Lockdown

According to the Alert System, Level 4 (Lockdown) includes the following:

  • People instructed to stay at home in their bubble other than for essential personal movement.
  • Safe recreational activity is allowed in the local area.
  • Travel is severely limited.
  • All gatherings cancelled and all public venues closed.
  • Businesses closed except for essential services, such as supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics, petrol stations and lifeline utilities.
  • Educational facilities closed.
  • Rationing of supplies and requisitioning of facilities possible.
  • Prioritization of healthcare services.

 

Financial Support

Government announced “Wage Subsidy Scheme”, which means government pays for employers suffering from the coronavirus. The target is to help employers recover from the effects of COVID-19. The scheme helps employers to keep their staff employed and ensures an income for affected employees, even if the employee is unable to actually work any hours.

Additionally, Government announced “Leave Support Scheme”, which provides a payment to businesses to pay their workers who need to take leave due to COVID-19 public health guidance.

Moreover, government announced interest-free loans, for a year, to small businesses as they recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

 

Information

Ministry of health availed detailed information about the situation in the country. That included data breakdown and statistics for:

  • Cases by area
  • Cases by age
  • Cases by gender
  • Cases by gender
  • Cases by ethnicity
  • Transmission type
  • Testing dates by date and region

 

Public opinion of government response

Jacinda Ardern 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll

In a recent poll that took place between 16 – 20 May, people were asked, “Do you think the New Zealand Government has responded appropriately to the coronavirus outbreak?”

The results were:

  • Yes – 92%
  • No – 7%
  • Don’t know/Not sure what coronavirus is – 2%

 

Jacinda Ardern

Jacinda Ardern

Jacinda Ardern is the current Prime Minister of New Zealand and Leader of the Labour Party since 2017. Accordingly, Jacinda Ardern became the world’s youngest female head of government at age 37.

She was born in 1980, attended the University of Waikato, and graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Communication Studies (BCS) in politics and public relations.

References:

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

https://uniteforrecovery.govt.nz/covid-19

https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-current-situation/covid-19-current-cases

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/kiwis-overwhelmingly-agree-government-responded-appropriately-covid-19-1-news-poll