Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was widely appreciated for her strict lockdown - it has just led New Zealand out of a major public health crisis.
A country of just under 5 million people has successfully flattened the curve. New Zealand, under the leadership of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, confirmed that there was a grand total of zero patients currently in the hospital sick with the disease, CNBC reports. Meanwhile, the United States, one of the richest countries in the world, continues to fight what seems like a losing battle against the novel Coronavirus. This is a major win for Ardern and has proven that defeating the pandemic is possible - just as long as leaders act quickly and with the help of trained medical professionals.
New Zealand has a true leader in Jacinda Ardern. https://t.co/J3J7XZdTav— Barbara Malmet (@B52Malmet) May 27, 2020
There were no new cases of the virus for the fifth consecutive day, New Zealand's Ministry of Health confirmed on May 27. Following the discharge of one patient from Middlemore Hospital in Auckland, there were also zero patients currently in hospital suffering from the disease. Further to this, there also remain only 21 active cases at present. So far, 1,462 patients have managed to recover and the country has processed 267,435 coronavirus tests. The Ministry of Health held a press briefing in order to celebrate the numbers, which indicate that New Zealand has not only successfully flattened the curve but is also on the way to beating the public health crisis overall.
New Zealand now has 0 people being treated for #COVID19 in hospital and has reported 0 new cases for 5 days straight.— AJ+ (@ajplus) May 27, 2020
Thanks to a strict 7-week lockdown, it has reported just over 1,500 cases and 21 deaths. pic.twitter.com/eETxoaj0wI
Meanwhile, contact tracing apps are working in the background in order to maintain these statistics. The NZ COVID Tracer app is simultaneously monitoring the remaining cases as well. On Wednesday, the government launched another app that aims to provide health care professionals access to important information about updated case definitions and local clinical pathways. The app will also deliver guidance about the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). In comparison, the United States is yet to implement nationwide or even statewide contact tracing.
New Zealand announces it has had no new cases at all for five days, and now has no covid patients in hospital.— George Monbiot (@GeorgeMonbiot) May 27, 2020
Our "good news" is Nando's re-opening some of its outlets (for takeaway only).
Really, this is all you need to know. https://t.co/OZRRABwruG
Despite these positive indicators, New Zealand is yet to "drop the alert level from two to one – the least severe level." This is perhaps because the central government would like to err on the side of caution rather than regret making a hasty decision, putting people's lives at risk. Nonetheless, the country has been working on slowly opening its borders back up, a key part of its strategy to flatten the curve. Public health official Dr. Ashley Bloomfield said closing borders off early had been "so important for us to keep the infection out of the country." She also credited good hygiene practices, such as effective hand washing, as a factor in reducing the spread of the disease.
This is what winning looks like. New Zealand has announced it no longer has any patients in hospital being treated for coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/wT45Hsaq6n— Paul Blom (@paulblom) May 27, 2020
Last month, Prime Minister Ardern claimed New Zealand had "won" the battle against widespread community transmission of Coronavirus after the number of cases dropped dramatically. However, she added that in order to fully "succeed," they would have to "hunt down" the last few active cases. She stated, "There is no widespread, undetected community transmission in New Zealand. We have won that battle. But we must remain vigilant if we are to keep it that way." Therefore, the nation is reopening its economy at a slow and steady pace. Ardern remains at the front of the battleship, steering her "team of five million" to safety and prosperity.