New Zealand claims no community COVID-19 cases. Have they won the battle?

PM Ardern said, "We have won the battle against the virus but we must remain alert if we want to keep it that way".

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New Zealand has claimed that it has been successful in stopping the community spread of the coronavirus, and has eradicated the virus.

With new cases in single digits for many days, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, said the virus was “currently” eradicated.

However, officials have cautioned against contentment, saying it does not mean a complete end to the new COVID-19 cases.

The news came hours before New Zealand moved out of its most intricate level of social constraints.

Healthcare, some non-essential business, and education activity have restarted from today. Most people will still be expected to remain at home and avoid all social interactions.

The country’s Director-General of Health, Ashley Bloomfield, said, “The trivial number of new cases in recent days gives us confidence that we have attained our goal of elimination”.

However, Bloomfield warned that “elimination” did not mean there would be no new cases “but it does mean we know where the cases are coming from”.

PM Ardern said, “We have won the battle against the virus but we must remain alert if we want to keep it that way”.

How did New Zealand respond to COVID-19?

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  • New Zealand took in some of the hardest constraints and early actions when it only had a few cases.
  • The country closed its borders, started imposing quarantine of all arrivals, brought in a strict lockdown, and mounted a widespread testing and contact tracing operation.
  • Waterfronts, Beaches, and playgrounds were closed on March the 26th, as were schools and offices.
  • Restaurants and Bars were also closed, including for takeaway and delivery.

PM Ardern said modeling indicated that New Zealand could have had more than 1,000 cases a day if the country had not brought in the lockdown so early.

“We could never know how bad it would have been but through our collective efforts we have avoided the worst,” she added.

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