Today, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the number of coronavirus cases has declined to single digits in the country. She added that there was “no widespread undetected community transmission in New Zealand. We have won that battle.”
New Zealand's prime minister has declared victory against the coronavirus. New cases have been trending downward for three weeks, with just five Monday, and "there is no widespread undetected community transmission." Many businesses can reopen. https://t.co/NwGmFPgT7d
— NPR (@NPR) April 27, 2020
The government announced the lifting of most restrictions imposed on businesses to halt the spread of the coronavirus. However, people are still required to socially distance themselves when outside of their homes.
New Zealand has been praised for its approach to the coronavirus, imposing a strict lockdown early, when the total number of cases in the country was still relatively low, and putting aside politics to work together with Australia to control the pandemic while clearly messaging information throughout the crisis.
In total, 1,469 coronavirus cases have been reported in New Zealand, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The country also has a low coronavirus death toll compared to many other parts of the world, with only 19 total fatalities.
The country does have the advantage of being an island nation with an easier ability to seal borders compared to most other countries. Still, New Zealand stayed vigilant by starting an extensive testing and contact tracing operation, which has now led it to become the first country to begin easing restrictions nationwide.
“We are opening up the economy, but we’re not opening up people’s social lives,” the prime minister said.