The pandemic of 2020, COVID-19, has severely tested us not just as individuals humans but also as a country. It has been a significant challenge for political leaders to give an effective response to the pandemic, requiring them to show effective planning, coordination, and empathetic communication.
The one nation that has been considered “successful” in managing the situation in New Zealand. The country not only managed the community transmission of the virus but also ranked well for political stability, economic recovery, and social resilience.
Coming to the various strategies adopted by New Zealand to battle COVID, the most important was the early closing of borders started by the prime minister Jacinda Ardern. Even though there were no cases in New Zealand in February, she banned the entry of any foreigners arriving from China, and the residents arriving from China had to quarantine.
With the introduction of the first case, they introduced strict measures. The cases and their origin were constantly tracked, and restrictions place accordingly. Eventually, by mid-march, the borders were closed entirely. The following measures, with only a few thousand cases worldwide, allowed New Zealand to stop community transmission.
The second factor that makes New Zealand’s response to the pandemic the best in the world is the effective implementation of the lockdown. With empathetic and practical communication, the leaders could convince the population to stay at home. While the people followed the lockdown, the country strengthened its tracking and testing operations. They asked those who had close interactions with confirmed cases to isolate.
World Health Organization (WHO) praised New Zealand for acting quickly and held the country as an example of success. By the starting of June, the country had declared zero community transmission, and all patients recovered. Though a mysterious outbreak followed that, they implemented a second round of strict lockdown. This “go hard, go early” policy aimed at eradicating the virus completely so that the country could rise with full economic activity.