Coronavirus: New Zealand eliminates COVID-19 with zero active cases
Wellington, June 08: New Zealand on Monday said that it has reported zero active cases of COVID-19 for the first time since the novel coronavirus reached its shores, indicating it has achieved its aim of eliminating the deadly virus.
The South Pacific nation said that the last of its coronavirus patients has recovered. That makes it one of the few countries in the world to have successfully eradicated the pathogen, and the first among those that suffered a sizable outbreak. Only a handful of nations can make the claim, mostly small islands that had very few infections to begin with.
This development came just hours before New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expected to announce a lifting of all remaining restrictions on people and businesses, barring strictions on border controls to keep the virus out, paving the way for a resumption of normal life.
It is reportedly said that New Zealand pursued an explicit elimination strategy rather than seeking to merely suppress transmission of the virus. It enforced one of the strictest lockdowns in the world, asking everyone to stay at home and allowing only essential services to operate. While this has almost certainly triggered a deep recession, the government says elimination of the virus should allow the economy to recover more rapidly than many of its peers.