New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s message to “Go hard and go early” coupled with imposing a lockdown early to clamp the spread of the coronavirus is an apparent success as the country marked 100 days without a new case Sunday.
Life has returned to normal for many in the country of 5 million. Rugby games are packed with fans. Patrons sit at bars and restaurants without fear of infection.
“Achieving 100 days without community transmission is a significant milestone, however, as we all know, we can’t afford to be complacent,” Dr. Ashley Bloomfield, the director general of health told The Independent. “We have seen overseas how quickly the virus can re-emerge and spread in places where it was previously under control, and we need to be prepared to quickly stamp out any future cases in New Zealand.”
The country imposed a strict lock down after 100 people were infected, which stopped the spread. The cases in the last few months are from returning travelers, who are then quarantined.
Ardern has been praised for her resolute leadership during the pandemic. She reassured the country in daily briefings. The policies helped limit the spread to 1,569 infections and 22 deaths. There are 23 active cases in the country. Those people are under quarantine.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.