Thousands Of New Zealanders Attend Largest Concert Since Pandemic Began
While here in the UK the spread of coronavirus has forced the nation into a third lockdown, over the weekend New Zealanders in their thousands attended the country’s biggest outdoor concert since the pandemic began.
Crowds headed to Waitangi to watch the opening of Six60 Saturdays, a six-date nationwide tour for the band which will also visit Christchurch, Hastings, New Plymouth, Hamilton and Wellington.
The nation’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern has been commended for her quick handling of the pandemic. As of January 15, the country only had 76 cases of the virus, bringing its total infection count to 2,246.
In an interview with Northern Advocate, Six60 lead singer Matiu Walters said: ‘There’s so much uncertainty at the moment and it’s difficult to make long term plans, but regardless of that we’re always trying to put on our best performance, which is why we put so much into our rehearsals.’
He added: ‘Being here and able to get together while the rest of the world basically can’t has really given us a good appreciation of how well our country has done in managing coronavirus and just how lucky we are. I feel really proud that we have got our act together so well on coronavirus.’
The World Health Organization (WHO) described New Zealand’s early success in controlling the disease as ‘crushing the curve’.
New Zealand’s Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, said the country’s strategy was based on ‘speedy testing, contact tracing and isolation, while rigorously adhering to public health guidance’.
So far, the country has tested 1,457,076 people, more than a quarter of its total population.
In August, Ardern praised New Zealand for its response in tackling the pandemic, as The Guardian reports.
‘It’s not just whether you have cases, it’s how you choose to deal with them as a nation, and I am personally very proud of how New Zealanders have taken to the battle with coronavirus,’ she said.
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