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New Zealand: Indefinite implementation of zero infection of COVID-19
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New Zealand: Indefinite implementation of zero infection of COVID-19. 1 case of Delta variant confirmed to be blocked? New Zealand conducts “indefinite implementation of zero infection” strategy, or has missed the best time to establish “herd immunity”.
At 0:00 on August 18, local time, New Zealand began to implement a three-day “national foot ban.” Everyone must stay at home, take-out services are completely stopped, and public places such as libraries, swimming pools, and basic education institutions are all closed.
This is the second time New Zealand has entered the “four-level response mode” with the highest level of epidemic prevention and control since the pandemic. The last blockade began on March 25, 2020 and ended on April 28 of that year.
When reporting by The Washington Post, The New York Times, and CNN, it was emphasized that on the day of this round of blockade, New Zealand had only one new case of indigenous infection. The patient is a 58-year-old man. This broke New Zealand’s “zero epidemic record” since February this year. Genome sequencing revealed that the man was infected with the Delta variant, which is highly homologous to a community infection in New South Wales, Australia. The channel of infection is not yet clear. According to media analysis, since New Zealand and Australia have opened air services in July 2020, this may be imported from abroad and spread to the community.
“The Herald” stated that as early as August 11, New Zealand’s COVID-19 epidemic response minister Chris Shipkins made it clear that as long as there is a delta variant in the community, even if there is only one case, it may be quickly transferred. Level 4 response”, “Almost no advance notice is given, and people should be prepared for possible blockades at any time.”
“Strictness and speed are very important to us.” New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern said that he will “implement the COVID-19 zero infection indefinitely” strategy. “It may not reach zero infection, but once a confirmed case appears in the community, we will immediately eliminate it. If we abandon the zero-clearing policy too soon, we will have no retreat.”
New Zealand suspends offline non-emergency medical services
The population of New Zealand is approximately 5.08 million. According to data from Johns Hopkins University in the United States, New Zealand has a lower cumulative number of confirmed diagnoses and 26 deaths, compared with countries with comparable levels of development, at 2936 and 26 respectively.
As of the release of this article, the number of infected cases in New Zealand in this round of the epidemic has increased to 10, all of whom are infected by the Delta mutant. Among them, 8 people and the first 58-year-old diagnosed were related cases. Among them is a hospital nurse who has completed two doses of vaccination and has been working for the past few days. The hospital where he works has urgently sealed off some areas in the hospital to prevent the spread of the epidemic.
The current survey shows that the trajectory of the confirmed cases involves many places such as Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula. According to the epidemic prevention requirements, Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula will be completely sealed off for 7 days. “The Herald” stated that this is the fourth time Auckland has “closed the city” in August 2020 and February 2021.
According to the latest official information from New Zealand, after the complete lockdown, people can go out only under three circumstances: first, to exercise near home; second, to go to a supermarket, convenience store or pharmacy; third, to take necessary medical care or COVID-19 detection.
At the same time, New Zealand adjusted the priority of medical services, and non-essential and emergency medical services were delayed or cancelled. All family doctor consultations were changed to online.
At a press conference at 1 p.m. on the 18th, New Zealand Health Director Ashley Blumfield revealed that the Delta variant data model shows that New Zealand’s local cases will continue to increase, or will reach 50-120.
Photo caption: On August 18, the streets of Wellington, New Zealand were empty. /Reuters
After the drastic blockade, the basic number of infections plummeted
The US Public Radio reported that the severe blockade highlights “New Zealand and most countries/regions have a completely different anti-epidemic strategy” and “New Zealand has always insisted on the goal of zero in controlling the COVID-19 virus infection.”
“The strict lockdown was effective almost immediately.” Juliet Gerrard, the chief scientific adviser of the Prime Minister’s Office of New Zealand, said that in the first nationwide lockdown, the average number of infections per infected person dropped from 7 to 7 in just one week. 0.2.
Oakland Mayor Phil Gough also supported the blockade decision. He believes that Australia’s experience in dealing with the delta variants shows that taking gentle measures to deal with the epidemic means quickly getting out of control. To restore a normal and safe life, it is essential to minimize the spread of the virus as much as possible.
As neighboring island countries, New Zealand and Australia have generally similar anti-epidemic measures. But in May and June this year, Australian Prime Minister Morrison’s remarks began to approach British Prime Minister Johnson. In late June, he described Australia’s preliminary plan for a “four-stage unblocking”, saying that by the third stage, people will treat the COVID-19 “like the flu or other infectious diseases.”
However, at 17:00 on August 12, local time, the Indelta variant continued to spread in the Australian capital Canberra and its surrounding areas, and the number of new cases remained high, entering a seven-day “cities lockdown.” This is another major city in Australia that has adopted strict anti-epidemic measures following the “closed” of Sydney and Melbourne.
After New Zealand’s “second blockade”, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation commented: “A drastic blockade can eliminate community transmission and then reopen. Its destructive power is much lower than that of periodic blockades. This has little impact on people’s mental health and has little impact on the economy. The damage is also less.”
Photo caption: “Keep social distancing” signs on the streets of New Zealand. /Reuters
Politicians also “neglect to scan codes”
“New Zealand has an excellent geographical and demographic advantage to build a COVID-19 immunity wall. But time is running out for New Zealand.” A few days ago, “Subversion Medical” author and American cardiologist Eric Top Said this when attending an online academic conference in New Zealand.
Former New Zealand Labor Party member and former DAP MP Richard Preble published an article in the Herald that luck may have been on New Zealand’s side, but the delta variant has changed the rules of the game. This time, New Zealand’s test may really come. “The government wants everyone to be vaccinated, but this is impossible. About one-third of people do not want to be vaccinated or plan to postpone the vaccination.”
A poll conducted by the New Zealand government also found that there is widespread “vaccination hesitation” in the country: about 20% of people hold a wait-and-see attitude towards vaccination, and 10% resolutely refuse. As of this article, the vaccination rate for the total population of New Zealand is less than 20%.
Richard Preble believes that what the New Zealand government has to do is “provide vaccines to everyone,” including children. At the same time, the COVID-19 tracking APP is improved, rapid self-test kits are provided, and the close contact tracking system is upgraded to catch up with the spread of Delta. “After achieving full coverage of the vaccine, New Zealand can consider opening the border gradually starting in January 2022. In terms of time, summer is not suitable for winter, because winter will be superimposed by influenza epidemic.” Richard Preble said.
The Herald pointed out that in terms of scanning code tracking and self-testing, New Zealand is getting worse and worse. “The current scanning code ratio is far lower than the peak in September 2020.”
“Local residents are not used to scanning codes, including myself.” Sandra Goody, the mayor of the Coromandel Peninsula, told the media. “The emergency lockdown is shocking, but I will not use the COVID-19 tracking app, Scan the QR code.” “I just remember to scan it occasionally. I prefer to use a credit card to record and track my deeds.”
“Each country has different choices. For me, the top priority is how to continue to maintain the current epidemic prevention results so as to provide ourselves with different choices. After all, the world has not yet ended its fight against the COVID-19 virus. “Aden said that New Zealand will not accept the strategy of “coexisting with the virus” like the United Kingdom. “If you want to return to the state of life before the outbreak, there should be more gradual changes instead of relying on dramatic changes. “
(source:internet, reference only)