28 April 2020
After weeks of lockdown, New Zealand has achieved its ambitious goal of eliminating the Corona Virus, but the country isn’t celebrating yet.
Over the past few days, reported cases have been in their single digits, with only one new case reported on Monday.
“That does give us confidence that we have eliminated the virus, which never meant zero, but it does mean we know where our virus is coming from.” Ashley Bloomfield, New Zealand’s Director-General of Health. Adding that there was only 1 case since the 1st of April, where authorities were still investigating the source of infection.
Monday, was the final day of almost five weeks of strict level 4 lockdown measures, which New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, described as “the strictest constraints placed on New Zealanders in modern history.”
On Tuesday, the country eased into a less restrictive lockdown with 400 000 more New Zealanders heading back to work and 75% of the country’s economy in operation, according to Ardern. The new level three lockdown means New Zealanders will be able to hold small funerals and order takeaways.
New Zealand reported 19 deaths and 1472 confirmed and probable cases of the coronavirus, according to John Hopkins University. Of those 1214 have fully recovered, which is 82%, the Ministry of Health confirmed.
While the success of eliminating the virus is a cause for celebration, Ardern still warns vigilance especially since New Zealand can carry out up to 8000 tests a day.