How cases in New Zealand came down to zero on May 4
New Delhi, May 05: New Zealand recorded no new cases of the COVID-19 on May 4 for the first time since March 16 and less than a week after the Pacific nation ended a strict lockdown.
New Zealand had 1,487 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 20 deaths till date, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
On April 28 the nation where the population of 4.8 million ended a strict lockdown that shut offices, schools, malls, restaurants, playgrounds and all other public areas for over a month.
However, some social restrictions still be there with millions of New Zealanders still working and studying from home while a minimal economic activity was allowed to resume.
The country entered a level 3 lockdown on March 23, meaning non-essential businesses were closed, discretionary domestic air travel was banned, and all events and gatherings cancelled.
The nation then progressed into a level 4 lockdown after 48 hours which is a stricter approach, named as "eliminate" policy. People were urged to only maintain contact with those they lived with under this policy.
So how the country made it right It closed its borders New Zealand played some of the toughest restrictions compared to other countries on travel and activity on 19 March which was early in the global pandemic.
It helped stop cases being brought in from overseas as 33 per cent of cases were imported here.
As Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at that time, "We only have 102 cases, but so did Italy once."
It had a quick and clear lockdown On 21 March, New Zealand introduced a new public alert system with four levels - the highest is a total national lockdown and the lowest would indicate that the virus was contained but people should be prepared.
The nation went in at level two, which meant there was a growing risk of community transmission. Days later, it moved into a level four alert.
It traced and tested 80 per cent of close contacts of someone confirmed with the virus are now being alerted within 48 hours of the diagnosis, according to the ministry of health of New Zealand.
Which means those people can self-isolate until the incubation period has passed, and they can get tested. 8,000 people are being tested each day in New Zealand, says its officials.
The country is encouraging its citizens to keep a diary of people they interact with.
Also, it is working on a contact tracing app.