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Current Affairs

New Zealand’s Zero Covid strategy

Date: 02 September 2021 Tags: Disaster & Disaster Management

Issue

New Zealand government has imposed a strict nation-wide lockdown after a single case of Covid-19 was reported in the country.

 

Background

Experts have called the move as archaic and misinformed. The country has also earned the nickname of ‘hermit nation’.

 

Details

  • The Prime Minister has ignored the criticism and emphasized the need to adopt elimination strategy to counter the pandemic.

  • The same move was also praised by global health experts during previous bouts of the pandemic when New Zealand recorded low numbers.

 

The strategy

  • The strategy by the Prime Minister is “go hard, go early” to restrict community transmission by eliminating the disease at early stage.

  • It is also called as ‘zero covid strategy’ as the move is expected to hit at the root of the transmission.

 

Status across the world

The virus is undergoing mutation rather than completely eliminating. Countries have changed strategy to make provisions to live with the virus.

 

The zero covid strategy

  • It will undertake strict lockdowns, close borders and shut down travel to reduce the number of Covid-19 cases to manageable levels.

  • Countries including New Zealand adopted ‘influenza pandemic plan’, which will mitigate numbers by strengthening their healthcare capacity.

  • Similar strategy was adopted by Australia which focused on eliminating case till the last one. This involved closing borders and setting up quarantine hotels.

  • Hong Kong has followed a similar one. This has forced European Chamber of Commerce to request for unlocking, which has been refused by administration.

 

Need for changing strategy

  • Many countries are now adopting lesser restrictions and more freedom for its citizens. Trusting vaccination process, UK has eliminated pandemic restrictions.

  • US has also relaxed wearing of masks in some areas. Foreign travelers can now visit UK if they are fully vaccinated without restrictions.

  • France and Australia have also expressed the need to learn to live with the virus by adopting precautions and restrain.