New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that her country has eliminated coronavirus transmissions.
Back in March, many countries had gone on a pandemic lockdown. Their nation’s businesses were forced to close, the government closed its borders on nearly all foreign travel, and millions were left filing for unemployment on a website that kept crashing.
In late April, the New Zealand government began reopening and on May 27, CBS News reported that the country had discharged its last coronavirus hospital patient. Less than 2 weeks later, Ardern declared her nation hadn’t reported a single new case in more than 2 weeks. An additional 40,000 people have been tested, bringing the total number to having tested around 300,000. This was a milestone in the country’s battle against the epidemic.
“We are confident we have eliminated transmission of the virus in New Zealand for now. But elimination is not a point in time, it is a sustained effort. We almost certainly will see cases here again, and I do want to say that again, we will almost certainly see cases here again, and that is not a sign that we have failed, it is a reality of this virus. But if and when that occurs we have to make sure – and we are – that we are prepared.” Ardern said.
All events – public and private – as well as retail, hospitality businesses, and public transportation are all returning to normal without social distancing requirements. Though the New Zealand government is getting praised for its leadership, they are still expecting to sink into an economic recession. They are still holding up border control, with some exceptions for citizens and residents, and testing all those who enter the country for the virus.
This news is greeted with joy around the country and the means of 5 million people getting back into work, sports stadiums, and crowded concerts. They will go back to holding private events such as weddings, functions, and funerals without limitations.
The country’s isolated location in the South Pacific has helped wipe out the disease. Ardern has said her government will keep its focus on the country’s borders, where isolation and quarantine continue. Just over 1,500 people contracted the virus in New Zealand, including 22 who died.
This won’t end the country’s economic pain, as tourism accounts for about 10% of the economy, but now is a time for celebration.
Finally some good news in this world. It’s time to tell the Dems we can open up now.