New Zealand with a population of 5 million earned worldwide applaud as it touched the 100-day milestone without community spread of the virus on Sunday (9th August). The last case of local transmission was identified on 1st May 2020.
According to the World Health Organization, the Pacific island is an example to other countries for having “successfully eliminated community transmission”.
Strict restrictions at the borders and the test-and-trace program have visibly helped New Zealand fare better than other countries. It has recorded only 1,569 confirmed cases since its first patient of COVID-19 which was detected in February.
Owing to the strict lockdown that was imposed in March the country has managed to limit the fatalities to 22. The country currently holds 23 active cases that were identified at the border and are currently being held in isolation facilities.
With the country’s effective handling of the pandemic in place, the government has almost lifted the restrictions enforced during the lockdown. Hence, the New Zealanders can be seen enjoying a new normal lifestyle that existed prior to the pandemic with no social distancing. However, New Zealand health officials have maintained and warned that there is no scope for a complacent attitude. For the government, the second wave of infections is still a possibility.
Dr. Ashley Bloomfield, the Director-General of Health on Sunday stated that “achieving 100 days without community transmission is a significant milestone. However, as we all know, we can’t afford to be complacent”.
Prime Minister of the country, Jacinda Ardern shares a similar thought and said, “one hundred days is a milestone to mark but, again, we still need to be vigilant regardless”.
Another country that had recently crossed 100 days with zero new recorded cases wasVietnam. However, the country lapsed soon after it touched the milestone and reported its very first COVID-19 fatality and 509 new cases in Da Nang as tourists vacationed on its beaches.
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