The coronavirus is over in New Zealand – What did they do?
The most important reason for this success of New Zealand is taking very early action.
1- Borders are closed
In the early days of the global epidemic, very severe travel restrictions were introduced in New Zealand on March 19.
Thus, the transfer of the virus from abroad to the country and its spread in this way was prevented. 33 percent of cases in New Zealand originated abroad.
The remark of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at that time was an indication of how he made this decision: “There are 102 cases in the country now, but in Italy, there were so many cases.”
“If you look at neighboring Australia, two-thirds of cases are from abroad. Therefore, it was essential to close the borders and this was done very effectively here,” said Professor Sanjaya Senanayake of the National University of Australia, who told the BBC.
2- A very fast and clear curfew was applied
On March 21, a new public alarm system was introduced in New Zealand. In this 4-level system, a national curfew restriction applies across the country at the highest level of level 4. At the lowest level, the outbreak is largely prevented, but people need to be prepared for any situation.
Starting from the second level, which indicates the possibility of a rapid spread, the alarm level rose to the 4th level in a few days.
Public areas such as offices, schools, and a beach or playground are closed. Bars and restaurants were closed as well, even takeout was not allowed.
3- Fillation and testing were done in great detail
According to the Ministry of Health, 80 percent of people in the immediate vicinity of people who have been detected have warned within 48 hours. These people were quarantined for 14 days and then tested. An average of 8 thousand people was tested per day.
While this practice was successful, there is a demand in the country for this to be done more tightly and in detail. It is criticized that test rates should be increased.
The people were asked to keep a diary of the people they saw or were close to every day. As in Singapore and Australia, work is ongoing for a new application.
4- People were asked to set a “bubble”
Another suggestion for New Zealanders was to choose a group of people to agree to see no one else and create a social “bubble” during the epidemic. Thus, another group of people was determined, where everyone could meet other than those who lived together at home.
Thanks to this practice, people felt less restrained and reduced the tendency to drill rules, according to experts.
Everyone was also warned to stay away from these people at least 2 meters away.
5- Open public message
New Zealand also praised the openness and transparency of its messages to the public during the crisis. Prime Minister Ardern and Chief Advisor It is interpreted that Bloomfield’s frank speeches deserve praise.
“I think that your prime minister makes calmly meaningful explanations, causing you to approach the process with understanding and calmly.”
Prof. Senanayake, though, warns that restrictions are not lifted too soon and that the country is still fragile in terms of the spread of the virus:
“I think the best way to remove the restrictions is to do it piece by piece and look carefully at whether there is an increase in cases.
“We must keep on track and increase the number of tests. The restrictions have been softened today, but if the cases increase again, the same bans will have to start being implemented again. We must continue to be careful with this.”