At a news conference yesterday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that New Zealand will be dropping all social and economic restrictions nationwide which started midnight of the announcement. This development culminated from the nation’s successful strict lockdown measures that lasted for 75 days. Since the news broke out of the mystery illness earlier this year, there were 1,154 infections and 22 deaths reported preceding the pronouncement. Though there are currently no active cases in New Zealand, border restrictions shall remain in place as to hinder the transmission into the mainland. Prime Minister Ardern blithely thanked New Zealand and its engaged citizens while stating ‘…elimination is not a point in time, it is a sustained effort…’, emphasizing that continued vigilance is vital in the reality of the virus.
This momentous declaration has garnered PM Ardern accolades for her strong yet calm demeanour in handling the crisis head-on. Her fast enforcement of lockdown measures had proven to be crucial in leading the nation in flattening the curve. The Prime Minister together with state’s officials’ diligence in maintaining New Zealand’s health and safety a priority is to be lauded.
As the restrictions are removed, New Zealand in now focusing in rebuilding their economy by supporting local businesses. And though, the government is already expecting an economic backlash due to the pandemic, and would likely move into recession, certain economic stimulus packages have been proposed are cautiously being considered.
All over the world, countries have been scrambling to find a cure and contain the pandemic that gripped humanity. Covid-19 has taken thousands of lives worldwide in its wake since the end of 2019 and continue to run havoc in both health and economic aspects of countries worldwide. Nevertheless, New Zealand’s triumphs over the pandemic not only serves as a beacon of hope but also set a standard of the effectiveness of zealous leadership and nations’ unity.