New Zealand has reported zero coronavirus patients in its hospitals as the country continues to lift restrictions on gatherings and social distancing.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern established strict lockdown procedures following the initial coronavirus outbreak in March, and after 102 days with no transmission it seemed New Zealand had conquered the virus in May.
Lockdown measures were lifted, though a second wave threatened to break out in August when the country’s biggest city, Auckland, saw a spike in cases. After taking preventative action, restrictions were eased once again last week.
As of 9am local time on October 13, New Zealand’s Ministry of Health reported that there were a total number of 39 active cases in the country, with six people having recovered in the past 24 hours.
None of the active cases have required hospitalisation, and over the past 24 hours there has continued to be zero patients with coronavirus in New Zealand hospitals.
The country has so far recorded a total number of 1,516 confirmed cases since the beginning of the outbreak, with just 25 cases proving fatal.
The figures are vastly different to those in other developed countries, with the US reporting more than 7.8 million cases and 215,000 deaths, while the UK has had more than 600,000 cases and 42,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
New Zealand’s Ministry of Health reported that all 39 of the active cases were imported, rather than spread domestically within the country.
One of the more recent cases came on Sunday and involved a young girl arriving from India, who is connected to two contacts who previously tested positive. She has been in isolation since her arrival.
The latest case was confirmed yesterday, October 12, and involved a man in his 20s who also travelled from overseas. He too has been put in isolation.
More than 1 million people in New Zealand have been tested for coronavirus this year, covering almost a quarter of the country’s population.
Ardern has received worldwide praise for her response for the coronavirus pandemic, and New Zealand is widely considered to have been one of the most successful countries in dealing with the outbreak so far.
The Ministry of Health explains that the overall strategy for the pandemic is ‘elimination’, with the goal of ‘eliminat[ing] chains of transmission in our community for at least 28 days and effectively contain[ing] any future imported cases from overseas.’
Measures to try and eliminate the virus include border control, case detection and surveillance, and effective contact tracing and quarantine.
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New Zealand Ministry of Health
Johns Hopkins University.
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