New Zealand was one of the first countries that went immediately on self-isolation on March 25 even though the infection rate was on a decline.
On March 19 the government also closed the borders and stopped allowing foreign travellers from abroad.
On April 13, 1160 cases of infection were reported in the country. As the country ramped up the testing, the cases of infected members fell drastically. On April 29, the New Zealand Ministry of Health had only two new cases reported, and on April 30, only one new case reported which was the lowest infection seen after the coronavirus breakout in the country.
On June 8, New Zealand lifted all the restrictions as there were no new cases reported. So how did the Kiwis handle the coronavirus pandemic so efficiently? We will talk about it in this article.
Even though the cases in New Zealand were very less in mid-March, Prime Minister Jacinda Arden came out with strict measures. The first thing was a two-week quarantine for all the people visiting which was followed by a complete ban on entry. And finally, on March 23 they declared complete isolation.
The businesses too in New Zealand followed strict quarantine measures. In other countries, the businesses protested against the quarantine measures but in New Zealand, the companies adapted their business and shifted it online.
One of the businesses that shifted online was the lottery and gambling industry as people started playing online due to the closure of brick and mortar gambling stores.
Mass testing and contact tracing
New Zealand was one of the most aggressive countries when it came to testing. They conducted 127000 tests for COVID which is the highest per thousand people. The United States which has a huge population did approximately 5.5 million tests.
Also, New Zealand had the lowest infected person to tests ratio which was just 1%
The country having very less population where almost every person knew one another, the contact tracing was very easy.
Four Level threat system
New Zealand had developed a very simple but effective threat level system. There was 4 level of threat. The first level is a very limited and restricted border crossing.
The second level is the closure of the borders with no permission given to foreign visitors, The third level is the restriction to travel within the country and closure of educational institutions and mass gatherings.
The fourth level is the highest level of threat. In this level, the entire country goes under self-isolation with all educational institutions, enterprises, and organizations remaining shut.
Because of less population, people stay in separate houses that are far away from each other. New Zealanders also use their vehicle to commute. Due to these factors, it was relatively easy for people to practice social isolation.
Although New Zealand has seen some new cases of coronavirus in the country, the overall numbers have been very less compared to other countries and the government has been very successful in tackling the pandemic efficiently.