New Zealand is one of the countries that has received worldwide praise for its approach to curbing the spread of Coronavirus. In April, it was ranked as the third safest country in the world regarding COVID-19 by an internationally renowned research group known as Deep Knowledge Group. New Zealand is second only to Israel and Singapore.
This accomplishment is due, in large part, to New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, and the swift, decisive action that she took when the magnitude of the threat of the virus came to light.
Similarly to South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, Jacinda Ardern implemented a very strict lockdown within the country very soon after the first few cases of the virus were identified on home ground. Citizens endured weeks of lockdown until the virus was almost completely eliminated by the end of April. By that stage, newly diagnosed infections were in the single digits every day.
What has ensured that the country remains practically immune to a ‘relapse’ is the fact that Ardern urged citizens not to relax despite the positive results. She insisted that the key to emerging from the global pandemic relatively unscathed is to keep up stringent methods of prevention. This included strict social distancing, washing one’s hands regularly with soap and water, and only venturing out for essential goods and services.
It is evident that New Zealand’s approach to flattening the curve was a great success and there is no doubt that other nations can learn a lot from the action taken.