The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the world many unprecedented and never-seen-before challenges. In a scenario with no designated plan of action for the world to follow, New Zealand has carved a path to lead countries across the globe to successfully flatten the curve. By Manya Saini

New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, announced that the country has successfully controlled the “widespread, undetected community transmission” of COVID-19. She said that the country has won the battle and has now started easing its strict lockdown restrictions from Monday.

 

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Ardern reiterated that with the help of regulations and timely response, the country was able to avoid the worst consequences of the pandemic; it must remain vigilant and continue to fight the virus.

New Zealand had enforced its level-4 lockdown to curb the spread. This lockdown was in effect for over four weeks and it had all the businesses, schools, and entertainment centres closed. The people were only allowed to move out of their homes for short grocery-shopping trips and walks. Ardern said, except the lockdown at level-4, there was no other way of controlling the community spread of the virus.

As the country now moves to level-3 lockdown, it will see more people coming in contact with one another as retailers, restaurants, and schools will be allowed to open. On-site work for construction workers has also been permitted with appropriate health, hygiene, and social distancing measures in place.

 

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Ardern has expressed her hope of opening travel between New Zealand and Australia soon, given that both countries domestically manage the virus.

The health officials have said that this doesn’t mean the virus has been ‘eliminated’ or there are zero cases, rather the health department is aware of the chain through which all new cases are emerging from, and is working to tackle it. The New Zealand cabinet will meet in two weeks to evaluate the situation and decide if the lockdown level should be eased again.

On Tuesday, an estimated one million New Zealanders returned to work, giving the world hope and motivation that the crisis can be controlled with the combined effort of the administration and the people.

Related: #SomeGoodNews: Italy Outlines Plans To Ease Coronavirus Lockdown From May 4