New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinta Arden, brings hope to many across the globe and pride to her countrymen for leading them out of the COVID-19 pandemic. To date (May 09, 2020), New Zealand is currently dealing with only 1,144 cases of COVID-19 infection, while 1, 371 of previous reported cases have recovered, and only 21 have succumbed to death, since the first confirmed case was reported in Feb.28, 2020.
While the world is constantly shocked by news about U.S. president Trump’s blatant lies and self-congratulatory speeches about actions taken by his administration in battling the coronavirus disease, the U.S. COVID-19 statistics continue to rise.
Currently, the total number of U.S. residents infected has reached more than 1.34 million, with around 201,000 reported recoveries and a rapidly rising death toll of more than 81,000; making the country the epicenter of the global pandemic since the first case of locally transmitted infection was reported in January 2020.
It cannot be helped that comparisons are being made since the way things are in the U.S. are hard to accept as signs that everything is turning out well for the American people. Whereas in New Zealand, lockdown conditions have eased down from Level 4 to Level 3. Last April 20, 2020, PM Arden had announced:
“We have won the battle…“There is no widespread undetected community transmission in New Zealand, but we have to remain vigilant if we are to keep it that way.”
What Does Level 3 Lockdown Mean in NZ?
The Level 3 lockdown in NZ took effect last April 27, 2020, in which stay-at-home restrictions have been modified, while safe distancing practices must still be observed. Although working from home and online learning is still encouraged, schools, some nonessential businesses and offices are allowed to open as long as measures for keeping a safe distance of at least 6 feet apart will be practiced.
There is also more leeway under Level 3, as NZ residents can go out to take a swim, hike, bike, surf or fish as long as people will not venture far from their home. Although mass gatherings are still not allowed, New Zealnaders can now hold weddings and even funerals; but limited to 10 people in attendance.
PM Arden’s Decisive Actions and Straightforward Messages Made the Big Difference
When PM Arden announced the Level 4 nationwide lockdown in March, her message to the people of New Zealand was that they will °go hard, and go early.” She immediately tasked members of the country’s military forces to take charge in enforcing the hard lockdown restrictions.
PM Arden did not mince words and was tough when necessary. As a matter of, she did not hesitate to demote a health minister who openly disregarded the government’s safe distancing mandates. In a matter of 4 weeks, Prime Minister Arden announced that the collective efforts of millions of New Zealanders had paid off, as they have succeeded in achieving what other countries are still trying to achieve up to this date. That of “flattening the curve” and more since local transmissions have been brought down to zero level.