Iceland, Australia and New Zealand, the islands that defeated the epidemic

Iceland, Australia and New Zealand, the islands that defeated the epidemic

In the midst of the second – or fourth wave, depending on where you look – of the Coronavirus pandemic that has hit the planet since the end of 2019, three island nations have been leaders in their response to Covid-19. IcelandAnd the New Zealand s AustraliaWhich has repeated the restrictions of its neighbor and doubled tests and controls, are still models the world should imitate, at a time when many debate whether the quarantine is working or not.

Iceland is the European version of New Zealand And recently this has been valid not only for its green landscapes and natural wonders. Like New Zealanders on the other side of the world, Icelanders are also controlling the coronavirus pandemic better than other countries. The fact that Vikings with low infection rate are currently the best student EuropeIt depends, as in the case of the Kiwis, on their isolation, but also on a robust strategy.

The Icelandic Prime Minister explains: “Our fight against the epidemic has succeeded better than we expected,” Catherine Jacobsdottir. The Icelandic track with widespread coronavirus tests and results within a few hours, subsequent close contact follow-up and strict quarantine and isolation rules have given better results than strict measures in other countries. “The key to our success is easy access to people checks, follow-up injuries, and the scientific approach,” the prime minister says.

This strategy is reflected in low numbers of new positives. With 6.59 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants, Iceland has no one comparable to the numbers kept by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

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Even others Nordic countries From EuropeNorway (66), Finland (88) and Denmark (100) – Which comes after Iceland currently, the countries with the lowest number of infections in the European Economic Area, much higher. The death rate associated with the Corona virus was zero in Iceland in the same period.

Success depends not only on a country’s location and size, but on stringent procedures, testing, contact tracing and a high degree of residents’ confidence in its experts. Of course, border controls in Iceland are clearly simpler than others: you arrive exclusively via Keflavík International Airport in Reykjavík.

Each person who enters must submit a negative PCR test for a maximum of 72 hours, plus another test upon arrival, and between five to six days of quarantine and a new test after that period.

In the event that New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern It closed its borders to stop the epidemic and ordered one of the most stringent confinements in the world in March 2020, when the island had only 50 cases: it accumulated 2,141 infections and 26 deaths due to Covid-19 in a country of five million people. And last Saturday, the Prime Minister again ordered the imprisonment of the largest city in the country, Auckland, again due to the emergence of a new case of Corona virus.

The rest of the country is subject to restrictions, such as a limit for gatherings of worshipers to 100 and a requirement to wear masks on public transport. Ardern believes the pandemic is progressing because citizens are not taking the necessary precautions, despite international acclaim for its management against the coronavirus.

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Despite the restrictions, and the fact that more than 200,000 people still receive unemployment benefits, employment has grown by nearly 60,000 jobs since the pandemic began.

Additionally, Ardern in recent weeks has promoted a host of economic measures: raising the minimum wage and raising taxes for the richest. The new minimum wage increases from $ 13.3 to $ 14 an hour, a measure that benefits 175,000 people. The wealth tax is placed at 39 percent of the income of individuals and companies that earn more than $ 126,000 a year, and another six points (affecting 2 percent of taxpayers).

“Every society is very special, but of course it will be essential to know whether to conclude which methodologies were most appropriate for facing the pandemic and which were more lenient.

In New Zealand, incoming travelers were considered infected even if they came with certificates issued by the highest global health authority, and were surveyed and locked in a hotel for 15 days, could not leave the room and were picked up for two hours. day. A day he walks on them, “highlights the former Uruguayan president, Jose “Baby” Mojica.

The government supports the most vulnerable sectors that have suffered the economic consequences, and the economy is starting to move. This is why more diverse sources take New Zealand as a model, and we are very similar historically, ”adds Mujica. And if Uruguay is comparable to New Zealand, then Argentina can be similar to Australia.

But the peripheral country, of 25 million people, has had massive success more than ours in its fight against the epidemic: 30,000 infections and fewer than 1,000 deaths. However, as in New Zealand, vaccination proceeds slowly. But Australia could have its own vaccine by the second half, producing several million doses per month.

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