Health: Why New Zealand has been virtually Covid free

The Story:

For more than a year now, as the rest of the globe has struggled through various policy contortions, controversies, and surges, with the Covid-19 pandemic, the island nation of New Zealand has remained virtually free. Unfortunately, its success is not something that other countries can easily imitate.


New Zealand’s peak in the new-case count came early in April, 2020. Even the peak was a modest one. All of 89 new cases on April 3. And the count quickly declined. There were no new cases at all on May 12. On August 6, even better, the 7-day moving average was: zero.  As of April 6, 2021, the 7 day average for new cases was a little higher than that: 5. On April 6, 2021, the 7 day moving average of new cases in the United States was well above 60 thousand.

How has New Zealand kept so free of such a plague? It is possible because the country is geographically an archipelago, and the nearest large non-New Zealand city, Sydney, Australia, is more than 13 hundred miles away.

In Pill Form:

Partly because its hospital system is under-resourced and could easily be overwhelmed, the government can and has close down effectively all travel in and out, early in the pandemic. So much was this the case that the country in some quarters acquired the epithet “Fortress New Zealand.” Only now, in April 2021, has it begun slowly begun to ease restrictions.



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