Covid 19 coronavirus: World Health Organisation highlights New Zealand’s pandemic success

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WHO video outlines how New Zealand eliminated Covid-19 in the community.
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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has highlighted the steps New Zealand took to eliminate Covid-19 within its community.

In a four-minute video posted on social media, the WHO details how the country went from its first case of coronavirus, on February 28, to the peak of daily new cases at 89, to successfully eliminating the virus within a matter of months.

The video singles out New Zealand’s plan, including the strict lockdown measures, the isolation of any positive cases and close contacts, as well as the country’s contact tracing method.

It features footage from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s addresses to the nation, including the level 4 lockdown announcement, as well as interviews with some of the country’s top experts, including Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

Eerie images of empty streets and roads play out to the background of Ardern detailing the lockdown measures in the video, taking viewers back to a time no one ever imagined having to live through.

The video then shows Bloomfield’s 1pm presser on May 21, where he announces there are no new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand.

The WHO singles out the clarity of New Zealand’s messaging to the population, with the different Covid announcements across all media.

The WHO says clear communication was key to fighting the pandemic. Photo / Getty Images
The WHO says clear communication was key to fighting the pandemic. Photo / Getty Images

On June 8, 2020, New Zealand became officially Covid-19 free. The WHO video replays the moment Ardern made the announcement, admitting she had done “a little dance” when she’d heard the news.

According to the WHO, New Zealand acted quickly and followed the organisation’s guidance around isolation and contact tracing, all of which were key in eliminating the virus.

While Covid-19 numbers continue to rise across the world, with many countries seeing big resurgences and recording thousands of daily new cases, breaking grim new records every day, New Zealand continues to tackle small numbers of the virus, with mandatory quarantine for anyone who arrives in the country.

The head of the United Nations Antonio Guterres today said that the Covid-19 pandemic “is the greatest crisis of our age”.

In an online session of the World Health Summit, Guterres made a call for worldwide solidarity in the global crisis and demanded that developed countries support health systems in countries that are short of resources.

“No one is safe from Covid-19. No one is safe until we are all safe from it,” said German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, at the summit.

“Even those who conquer the virus within their own borders remain prisoners within these borders until it is conquered everywhere.”

More than 42 million have been infected with the virus and over 1 million people have died of Covid worldwide.

Yesterday New Zealand recorded no community cases and just one case in managed isolation.

Across the world, there were more than half a million new coronavirus infections recorded in a 24-hour period this weekend.





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