For the first time since the start of the health crisis, New Zealand is reviewing its strategy to eliminate the virus that until then had largely saved the archipelago from a pandemic. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has admitted that the highly contagious delta type has now changed the rules of the game.
For months, the country has been shielded from the pandemic, in part due to strict border measures that have allowed New Zealanders to enjoy a near-normal life. The archipelago, with a population of five million, has recorded only 27 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
But after a delta-type case of coronavirus emerged in Auckland in August, containment measures had to be put in place. Two million people were locked up in the country’s largest city for seven weeks and the national confinement was not lifted until the beginning of September.
However, these measures were not enough. “Even with the long-term restrictions that we’ve put in place, it’s clear we haven’t reached level zero”Sorry Jacinda Ardern. If New Zealand’s prime minister stresses that she will not immediately abandon her strategy to stamp out Covid, she has thus announced that Auckland’s confinement will be eased despite the number of new cases that have not yet decreased.
This change constitutes a major development in relation to its objective. “Zero Covid”. However, Jacinda Ardern notes that this is made possible by the sharp increase in the number of people being vaccinated. “Elimination of the virus was important because we didn’t have a vaccine, and now we have a vaccine, so we can start changing the way we do things.”, she told reporters.
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