Home World Coronavirus breakthrough: New Zealand BEATS pandemic with no active cases

Coronavirus breakthrough: New Zealand BEATS pandemic with no active cases

New Zealand has been held as an example worldwide for its swift and strict response to the pandemic. It has seen a total of 1,504 cases, and only 22 deaths.

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New Zealand health authorities have reported the amazing news of the recovery of the countries only remaining COVID-19 patient.

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It also reported no new cases of the deadly virus for 17 days.

The final patient, a woman in her 50s, recorded no symptoms for 48 hours.

She was announced as recovered at St Margaret’s Hospital and Rest Home in Auckland on Monday.

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NEW ZEALAND has triumphed against coronavirus, reporting no active cases in their population. (Image: PA)

New Zealand health authorities have reported the amazing news of the recovery of the countries only remaining COVID-19 patient. It also reported no new cases of the deadly virus for 17 days. (Image: PA)

It comes as Jacinda Ardern is expected to announce the complete lift of all COVID-19 lockdown measures.

Dr Ashley Bloomfield, New Zealand Director general of health, said the woman’s recovery was something “the rest of New Zealand can take heart in”.

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Dr Bloomfield said: “Having no active cases for the first time since February 28 is certainly a significant mark in our journey but as we’ve previously said, ongoing vigilance against

COVID-19 will continue to be essential.”

It comes as Jacinda Ardern is expected to announce the complete lift of all COVID-19 lockdown measures. (Image: PA)

The woman’s recovery means that the St Margaret’s cluster of infections has now closed, as have seven other clusters across the country.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern introduced a strict lockdown on March 23, just as cases in the country reached 100.

In stark contrast with Australia, which did not enact such tough restrictions and still has over 400 active cases, New Zealand is now on the brink of elimination.

Elimination, according to the Ministry of Health’s own definition, will take place on June 15 after New Zealand records a 28-day run without any new cases of coronavirus spread through community transmission.

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Despite the relieving news for New Zealand, public health authorities are warning against commemorating June 15.

Michael Baker, Professor of Public Health at the University of Otago, said this signalled an end to “only the first battle in what will be a long-term war against this virus”.

Baker warned: ”This risk will rise again in New Zealand as we gradually increase the numbers of incoming travellers.

“It will also rise during the coming winter when coronaviruses are more transmissible.”

Todd Muller, leader of the opposition New Zealand National Party, also celebrated the news of no active cases, saying: “This is fantastic news!” (Image: PA)

As the battle against the virus comes to a successful conclusion, New Zealand’s government has begun to focus on the burgeoning recession and the nature of their restrictive lockdown measures.

The debate has now shifted towards easing social distancing, gathering size caps, and limits on the operations of some businesses, especially tourism and hospitality.

Ms Ardern has also been urged by business leaders and opposition parties to shed the “health-first” mantra that has defined the countries lockdown response.

But Todd Muller, leader of the opposition New Zealand National Party, also celebrated the news of no active cases, saying: “This is fantastic news!

“Well done New Zealand.

“Your sacrifices have got us to this point, and you all deserve a huge celebration.”

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