New Zealand marked 100 days without community transmission of Covid-19 today after the first case was reported on 26th February 2020.
It took New Zealand 65 days to achieve this enviable feat of reducing community spread to zero and maintaining that for 100 straight days.
To achieve this rare success over COVID-19, three critical things were done.
New Zealand relied on three types of measures to get rid of the virus:
1. Ongoing border controls were implemented at all boarders to help stop Covid-19 from entering the country. This meant that the country had to only deal with cases already within its boundaries.
2. New Zealand initiated a lockdown. In addition, it ensured physical distancing was maintained and adhered to winch helped to stop community transmission of COVID-19 within the population.
3. It also deployed a Case-based control method that allows testing, contact tracing, and quarantine.
Although the above methods used seem the same across the world, most nations are still facing the wrath of COVID-19, and community spread has remained a continuous process to date.
New Zealand further achieved low case numbers and deaths as compared to other European and North American countries that are seen as high-income countries.
Apart from Taiwan, Fiji, and New Zealand which are small countries but have managed to deal with the pandemic, others including mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, Mongolia, Australia, and Fiji have not achieved the same feet.
Australia benchmarked the New Zealand strategy which has helped it to achieve the same feet by New Zealand in its states and territories.
This success story seems to suggest that managing and implementing the fight against COVID-19 for smaller territories within bigger nations is one of the best ways to fight the virus and minimize community spread.
The success story of New Zealand’s 100 days without Covid-19 has also been attributed to its relatively early and clearly articulated elimination strategy, which aggressively carried out.
In the end, its intense lockdown strategy paid the price which helped to eliminate the virus.