New Zealand had approached a “stay local” strategy in its 4-week lockdown. While many experts say that its nothing but delaying the epidemic, we try to analyse the protective measures of the kiwis that whether they were proactive or it’s the right foot at the right time. New Zealand so far had reported one death and about 206 cases but the country had already declared a national emergency and Level 4 alert in the country with complete lockdown only the essential services remain open.
The country had also lifted tariffs on medical products and food giants such as Foodstuffs pledging 10% bonus for the essential service staffers. With the same guidelines as followed everywhere else- self-isolation, hand washing, and social distancing the country is aiming to break the chain in this 4-week lockdown period.
According to some models, New Zealand with this strong lockdown may bring down the mortality count due to NOVEL coronavirus to just 20 that is 0.0004%of their total population, while the worst-case scenario being the death of 80,000 people. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had repeatedly emphasised on breaking the chain in this lockdown period. Apart from that, the authorities have indulged in extensive testing with more than 1000 testing every day.
While many scientists have termed this lockdown as a delay of the pandemic in the country, as in when the lockdown is over the cases will again surge up in pandemic scales, however, we have witnessed the effects of not taking the early stages of community transmission seriously in Italy, US and Spain. While each of them struggles to deal with the pandemic and mass deaths the decision of the Kiwis come across as better safe than sorry.
The country has also appealed to the retired medical staff if they are willing and fit to work to join the service and are extensively preparing themselves if the outbreak reaches an epidemic scale in their country. Not only that the employers are instructed to pay their labours full salary in this lockdown and also had launched special online reporting forms for non-complying or bad employers.,
With an appeal to be kind especially to the old and the poor, the government had discouraged violence of all kinds. So, whether this strategy will work or not only time will tell however the approach of the kiwi government had been praiseworthy because of this decision. While the economic slowdown is inevitable but the lives have surely been bought to a standstill by this virus.