When the entire world is suffering from worry and sheer panic due to one massively spreading pandemic COVID19, a declaration by one country – NEW ZEALAND which announced its freedom from the CoronaVirus brings much curiosity and jealousy. Everyone wants to celebrate how is it surviving a pandemic!
After all, who wouldn’t want to send their children back to school? Who wouldn’t want to get back to their desks at work or at school? How about planning a movie weekend? Or, go mall hopping with friends and shop till their feet drop? I know many want to eat roadside chaat or sit and gorge icecreams at their beloved ice cream parlor, right? So what can we as parents learn from them?
Everyone wants to know how they did it. What special steps did their Government take? What more can we, as residents of India do to support our Government in their measures? And, finally how sooner should one expect their freedom?
The answer lies here.
See, first and foremost, New Zealand is a remote island which has a small population of say just fifty lakhs. So it was easier for them to shut their borders and keep the virus away from them.
- In mid March when New Zealand had only over a 100 positive cases, it immediately swung to action and closed its borders.
- The support they received from the Pacific Islands who stopped foreign movement also restricted COVID19 to touch them at all.
- Any foreign entrant was mandatory quarantined for fourteen days.
- On a domestic level, New Zealand began its fight against Corona as early as it could.
- Their battle with COVID took a rigorous and strict implementation of Lockdown rules which every resident complied and followed wholeheartedly.
New Zealand began with the lockdown which consisted of FOUR LEVELS.
In the first level, the entire country observed a Complete Lockdown since March. They stayed indoors for 14 days with only essential service movements. All schools, businesses, etc were shut and people were strictly ordered to stay home.
Residents left homes only to purchase groceries following all prescribed restrictions. The government was intensely communicative and clear in its approach to tackle COVID19.
New Zealand did rampant testing of its residents and clocked around 8000 tests in a day. The total till date reaching to almost 3 lakh tests which is an extremely impressive score!
It clearly followed WHO recommendations of massive testing to the T. The Government was also robust in its contact tracking.
Once they had successfully exhausted themselves with eight strenuous weeks of close vigilance and discovered nil community transmission with minor outbreaks of the virus, they gave a YES to resuming school education!
In the next level, New Zealand continued with the Lockdown plus followed Social Distancing norms. Takeaways became operational and social distancing measures applied through which slowly increased necessary contact and movement.
Prime Minister Arden celebrated surviving a pandemic with a little jiggy!
In an interview with the CBS News, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden accepted that she did a little dance when she got to know that their last COVID patient had successfully recovered. But, sadly as per her, that does not New Zealand’s battle with CoronaVirus had ended. She called the defeat only momentarily, for now, and assured that they will never put down their guards for good.
Their Prime Minister pointed out how the complete removal of the virus from the system was not possible. As per her absolute elimination required sustained efforts to be performed consistently. As per her, it will be highly probable for cases to come up with time. However, it should not be taken as their failure rather the mere nature of the virus. Hence, irrespective of what the future holds for New Zealand, it will be able to tackle it as swiftly as possible.
So impressive, right? Imagine the economic edge they have over the rest of the world that is still struggling to get back on their feet. Kudos to her!
And, her husband – Clarke Gayford who took to his parental duties as mummy looked after her prime minister role!
It seems we have a lot to learn from New Zealand and its Prime Minister without missing on her super supportive husband. Such a happy read for the day 🙂