NEW Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Arden said her country has "done what few countries have been able to do" by containing the spread of coronavirus.
Placed under a strict lockdown in late March, when only about 200 people had tested positive for Covid-19, Jacinda Arden has taken bold steps in containing the spread of the killer virus.
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New Zealand's quick-thinking approach, when compared to the UK's dealing with coronavirus, is staggering.
The lockdown measures introduced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on March 23 came at a time when Britain had 6,650 confirmed cases of Covid-19, as well as 335 fatalities.
On the other hand, New Zealand had just 205 cases with no deaths when the lockdown was imposed there on March 25.
The stay-at-home measures implemented to slow the rate of infection in the midst of the pandemic has since had an unprecedented effect on life in the UK as we know it.
New Zealand's stern approach to its lockdown follows Arden's claims that the country is in with a "fighting chance of eliminating the disease".
Only 13 people have died so far, and Ardern has been personally briefed on each death.
Speaking at the Beehive in Wellington, Arden announced how New Zealanders will remain in total lockdown until April 27, with restrictions easing if elimination progress is maintained.
"We have the opportunity to do something no other country has achieved: elimination of the virus," Ardern told reporters last week.
"But it will continue to need a team of five million behind it."
We have the opportunity to do something no other country has achieved: elimination of the virus
New Zealand has so far avoided a widespread outbreak, and new cases have dwindled from a peak of about 90 per day in early April to just five on Tuesday, leaving the goal tantalisingly close.
And experts believe New Zealand could eliminate Covid-19 altogether.
The virus "doesn’t have superpowers," said Helen Petousis-Harris, a vaccine expert at the University of Auckland.
She added: "New Zealand got everything right.
"Decisive action, with strong leadership and very clear communications to everybody."
Ms Ardern on Monday announced the country would stay in lockdown for another week before slightly easing some work restrictions to help restart the economy.
She also tried to temper expectations of her goal, saying elimination did not mean new cases would not arise in the future, but they would be stamped out immediately.
New cases are likely when New Zealand eventually reopens its borders, but questions remain about how well prepared the health system is to implement effective contact tracing should a widespread outbreak occur.
Even if New Zealand does purge itself of the virus, the effects will linger as before the outbreak, tourism was booming.
Some four million people visited each year, drawn by stunning scenery and the lure of adventure sports.
The industry employed more than 300,000 people and accounted for about 10 per cent of New Zealand’s entire economy.
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