As the restrictions brought by the pandemic haven’t been annulled in most of the countries, the normal life seems to be far from the near future. Although people are living their lives out of their homes now, the chaos doesn’t settle soon. Many countries have been reporting around thousand cases even after three months of lockdown procedures. Not all fingers are to be pointed towards the government as the virus is highly contagious. While thousands of cases are being reported in multiple parts of the world, New Zealand is enjoying a good cup of tea after the sigh of relief comes with a meagre number of cases in the last one month.
Despite the health department’s diligent efforts in most of the highly affected countries, the virus doesn’t seem to take a step back into eradication. However, the feat achieved by New Zealand is something every other state has been admiring and researching to scrape details for better world order. Multiple reports of heinous activities and riots have taken over the newspapers and media over this time too, but the pandemic remains a question unanswered. But now as the rest of the world is searching for answers, New Zealand has already managed to stumble upon a solution that seemingly worked for the best.
New Zealand’s Border Closures
After the incident of a man outside China dying on February 2nd, New Zealand tightened its open arms by restricting the entry of foreigners travelling from or via China. Citizens of the country who were returning from China had to isolate for two weeks. As the cases were increasing in many other countries and the first case in New Zealand was a person who arrived from Iran. A flight ban was extended to Iran, northern Italy, and South Korea.
By mid-March, everyone (except the ones from Pacific island nations) arriving in New Zealand had to self-isolate. The borders were closed to all residents and non-citizens by the end of March, and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was unapologetic of this decision. It was this step that led to the country’s efficient control over the rise in the number of cases. An influx of affected people was stopped this way, and the community transmission was far from reality at that point in New Zealand.
Early Lockdown Measures
As the standard pandemic flu action seemed to be ineffective in the case of COVID-19, New Zealand had to decide to lock the entire country from being all boisterous and active as always. The normal had to change into the emergency, while everyone else had to stay at home. A four-stage alert system was introduced in the country by the end of March, which made the people maintain a social distance, and the streets to be closed down except for the essential services. When New Zealand locked down, only around 100 cases had been reported, whereas the UK had around 6,500 cases at that point; both the countries imposed these restrictions in the same week. It was undoubtedly New Zealand’s prompt measures and the population’s compliance with the rules that equipped the country to combat the virus.