Going hard and early, as the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern announced a nationwide lockdown after its first one coronavirus case.
Treating it as the contagious Delta variant while still waiting for the genome sequencing, Ardern held a press conference and declared that New Zealand will be under level four lockdown, the strictest lockdown level, for the next three days starting from 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, local time.
With this announcement, everyone in the country must stay home and businesses are closed aside for essential services such as supermarkets and pharmacies.
This first locally transmitted Covid-19 case in the community since February is from an unvaccinated 58-year-old man in Auckland.
“Delta has been called a gamechanger — and it is. It means we need to again go hard and early to stop the spread. We have seen what can happen elsewhere if we fail to get on top of it. We only get one chance.”– Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand
It’s not news for all of us that New Zealand has been praised and look up to by everyone in the world for its handling of the virus last year, closing its borders to almost all foreign nationals early, and imposing strict state-run quarantines on incoming travelers avoiding the devastating outbreaks seen in other countries.
This immediate and hard action from NZ government is just another proof of its proactive way of handling the pandemic. Ardern also highlighted that as they are one the last countries in the world to have the Delta variant, they are in the position to learn from experience overseas, and what actions work, and what actions don’t work.
New Zealand only has 26 deaths in a population of about 5 million due to Covid-19 and with this swift reaction to their first case, they are sure to have a better handle of the delta variant than any other country.