Published: Tue, August 11, 2020

New Zealand goes 100 days without community transmission of Covid-19

New Zealand goes 100 days without community transmission of Covid-19

Sunday, August 9, marked the fourth day in a row that no new local cases of COVID-19 were reported.

New Zealand's border is being strictly controlled and all new arrivals are required to spend 14 days in quarantine. None of those cases needed hospital-level care.

New Zealand got rid of the virus by imposing a strict lockdown in late March when only about 100 people had tested positive for the disease. There are now 23 people who have reported active cases of the disease in managed isolation facilities, the release outlined. The total number of cases in the United States surpassed 5 million Sunday - by contrast, New Zealand has only reported 1,219 cases of the virus, most in April and May, and 23 of those cases remain active.

"Yesterday, our laboratories processed 2125 tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 496,606".

New Zealand is celebrating 100 days without coronavirus. We need everyone to play their part in that.

"Our response to COVID-19 works on the basis that we should be prepared for a case of community transmission, and that that could happen at any time".

New Zealand's strategy was simple: in the words of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the country had to "go hard, and go early".

Officials say it has now been over three months since a case of COVID-19 was "acquired locally from an unknown source".

The ministry also made another plea on Monday for people to use the NZ Covid Tracer app, which is only being used by a small percentage of Kiwis.

"That means now is the time to download and start using the NZ Covid Tracer app, if you haven't already downloaded it". There have been 16,151 manual entries recorded in the app.

"We have seen overseas how quickly the virus can reemerge and spread in places where it was previously under control", Director-General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield said Sunday. "However, as we all know, we can't afford to be complacent".

Now, the Pacific island nation of five million people is enjoying a near-normal, pre-coronavirus lifestyle with no social distancing and even allowing spectators to sport and enjoy cultural events.

With experts now calling for Ireland to focus more on elimination rather than suppression of Covid-19, a similar approach could be forthcoming in the Emerald Isle.

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