Covid-19: New Zealand orders home restrictions to prevent delta variant arrival |  Community

Covid-19: New Zealand orders home restrictions to prevent delta variant arrival | Community

Today people line up to enter a supermarket in Auckland.Jason Oxenham/AFP

New Zealand’s success in fighting COVID-19 stalled on Tuesday afternoon with the discovery of the first case of community transmission since February. A 58-year-old man in Auckland, the largest city in the country, tested positive and sounded all alarms. In a few hours Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern He appeared before the country to announce immediate home confinement for all residents, which will be offered for a minimum of three days across the country, and seven in the case of the Auckland region. The New Zealand executive assumes this is the delta variant of covid-19, although the results of genetic analyzes of the virus won’t be known until Wednesday. “We’ve had the quick and hard offensive in the past,” Ardern told the media. “To beat the delta formula, we have to fight harder,” he added.

Shortly after the press appearance, all mobile phones in the country sounded at maximum volume an alert signal sent by the National Emergency Service, the same system that is activated in the event of an earthquake or tsunami, with the following message: “A community case of covid-19 has been identified. Stay at home and follow the instructions for alert level 4. So we can turn off COVID-19 progress And save lives.” Alert level 4 (the maximum in the fight against the virus) means that only essential services can remain open and citizens must stay at home and limit contact with their family members. They can only go out for essential shopping and exercise, as long as they wear a mask.

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Jacinda Ardern had already warned New Zealanders that she would take swift and drastic action if a delta variant was detected in New Zealand. The country’s borders have been closed since March 2020 and the Executive has announced its intention to keep it protected at least until the beginning of 2022. Although the media has coined the nickname “Fortress New Zealand” to describe the situation in the country, the majority of the population supports the Prime Minister’s decisions, as they They managed to keep the virus out of the territory. The epidemic caused only 26 deaths in one country Nearly five million people.

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Ardern is not only betting on his great political standing If the delta variable is scattered across the country. The vaccination program in New Zealand began much later than Europe due to delays in the arrival of the Pfizer vaccine, the only vaccine distributed so far. The general population didn’t start immunizing until May, so only 22% of New Zealand’s population had received two doses of the vaccine. Specifically last week the Prime Minister announced an acceleration of the immunization schedule due to the progression of the virus in Australia. The discovery of a possible case of the delta variant has ignited opposition, which for months has accused the government of endangering New Zealanders by the slow and ineffectiveness of its vaccination programme.

This isn’t the first time Jacinda Ardern has been sentenced to jail “Express” when detecting a few cases of the disease. But this time, the virus squashing mechanism was triggered faster and more powerfully. The Labor government made this decision because if the worst were confirmed, New Zealand would not be counted among the few shelters in the world deemed free of the delta type of Covid. Until very recently, neighboring Australia was, but at the beginning of June its good run ended with the appearance of the first delta in the community. Restrictions and restrictions have not prevented the progression of this highly contagious strain in this country.

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In 2021, there were three “rapid” lockdowns in New Zealand. Everyone ended with a happy ending and a picture of Jacinda Ardern defeating the pandemic over and over again. The Prime Minister has prepared all the artillery at her disposal to crush the Delta variant, because she is well aware that if it gets out of hand, the virus has the potential to saturate the country’s health system and especially its limited capacity for intensive medicine. , with only 5.5 intensive care units per 100,000 residents.

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