New Zealand just marked 100 days with no new domestic COVID-19 cases. The country of 5 million people implemented strict lockdown measures in April. All restrictions on New Zealand businesses were lifted by June, but its borders remain closed to outside visitors.
Now, bars, restaurants, and sporting events are open for business across New Zealand — but health officials say they’re staying vigilant for another possible outbreak.
New Zealand has made it 100 days without a single new local case of COVID-19, the country’s Ministry of Health announced Sunday.
The public health milestone comes as coronavirus cases are spiking in other countries, including nearby Australia. The total number of cases in the US surpassed 5 million Sunday — by contrast, New Zealand has only reported 1,219 cases of the virus, most in April and May, and 23 of those cases remain active.
“It has been 100 days since the last case of Covid-19 was acquired locally from an unknown source,” the health ministry said in a statement Sunday. “No additional cases are reported as having recovered, so there are still 23 active cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation facilities.”
New Zealand took an early, aggressive approach to stop the spread of the virus. The country of 5 million people entered a hard lockdown in April that closed schools and nearly all businesses, including food delivery. By June, most restrictions were lifted in the country, but New Zealand’s borders remain closed to foreigners and incoming New Zealanders are required self-quarantine for two weeks after arriving.
Now, life has returned to normal for most New Zealanders, with bars, restaurants, and sporting events open for business — but public health officials said they’re staying vigilant for the possibility of another outbreak.
“Achieving 100 days without community transmission is a significant milestone,” Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said in a statement on Sunday. “However, as we all know, we can’t afford to be complacent.”
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