When the entire world is reeling by the devastating rampage in its popula-
tion, this small island nation managed to strangle the spread of this menace from the earliest stages just by preventive measures. The adjust-ments and cooperation between the Government and the general public shines as a beacon of hope to all other nations of the world. The early awareness of the gravity of the situation and the immediate preventive measures taken spared this island from future major course corrections.
All these actions prevented major loss of lives, no economic stresses and a population saved from the onslaught of virulent menace. All these achieved
with no antidote, no antiserum and no new discoveries from medical field.
Observing the spiralling epidemic and its devastating impacts in Europe, he says the Government was “determined to minimize the impact of COVID-19” in New Zealand. From late February through March, the country progressively tightened restrictions.
“It was recognized that implementing this strategy would have significant economic costs, but so would a major outbreak,” he explains. “So New Zealand took a precautionary approach and on 26 March, apart from essential workers, the entire country was required to self-quarantine at home.”
New Zea;and sets an uncomproimising austerity controls. Only commerce
allowed was operation of grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, and petrol stations. Vehicle travel was restricted and social interactions was limited to households.
Bolstered by a team of scientists and health care officials the austerity measures were formulated and acted upon effectively including this country lockdown. Instead of just slowing down the virus, it grabbed the opportunity tp eliminate the threatening covid-19 menace. It choked the virus in its entirety.
WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, Dr Takeshi Kasai, explains that New Zealand combined strict physical distancing with strong testing, contact tracing, clinical management of those infected, and clear and regular public communication. The country also took steps to cushion the economic blow.
Not letting down their guard:
“New Zealand certainly benefited from being a high-income, island country with an advanced health system,” says Dr Kasai.”But they didn’t take any-thing for granted,” he adds. “They worked concertedly to limit and stop COVID-19 on their shores and support other countries in the Region.
New Zealanders worked together to keep case numbers low and stamp out the virus at home. But they are not resting on that success. New Zealand has not let down its guard, says Dr Kasai.
‘”New Zealand continues to be vigilant,” he says. “The Government is rightly cautioning that the virus is still circulating around the world and that New Zealand must work hard to keep it from returning. They also must maintain readiness to reintroduce control measures if it does.””
Constant vigilance, due diligence in the interest of the well being of the community of this entire nation and the amazing cooperation of the public
helped remain a healthy robust community and a role model to the world.