World

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The island nation of New Zealand announced Monday that they have eradicated the Coronavirus, with the last known infected individual announcing their recovery 

PHOTO CREDITS: MARK MITCHELL/NEW ZEALAND HERALD

The island nation of New Zealand is leading the way in the eradication of the COVID-19 virus, after announcing on Monday that the last known infected individual has recovered. The country’s health ministry communicated that no new cases of the respiratory illness had been reported in 17 days. At 11:59 pm on June 8th, the country officially moved from Alert Level 2 (Reduce), to Alert Level 1 (Prepare). This action eliminated all restrictions on social gatherings and day-to-day life; however, border control measures are still in place, and contract tracing is encouraged for all workplaces and services. While this deescalation marks an incredible milestone in the fight against COVID-19, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern knows that the battle is not over, explaining that “elimination [of COVID-19] is not a point in time, it is a sustained effort” (Associated Press). ~

The jump from Level 2 to Level 1 comes earlier than expected, as the country’s government had planned to make the move on June 22nd, but the vigorous efforts made throughout the country since the first case appeared on February 28th allowed for the early change. There are many reasons that New Zealand was able to successfully defend against the virus that was declared a global pandemic on March 11th by the World Health Organization. Not only did the country’s location in the South Pacific give it adequate time to prepare for the outbreak, Ardern issued a strict nationwide lockdown, allowing only essential workers to venture from their homes before the virus had significant hold on the country. Arden’s efforts proved successful, as only 1.9% of the confirmed cases in the country proved fatal. ~

New Zealand’s success battling the mysterious and evasive COVID-19 is proving that there is a possibility to return to a life with similarities to the world before the pandemic. While many countries continue to struggle with lifting restrictions and eradicating the virus, New Zealand’s success shows that there is light at the end of this unprecedented tunnell. ~

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