New Zealand announced that it had zero active or new coronavirus cases on Monday local time.
The New Zealand Ministry of Health announced in a statement that is has been 17 days since the last new case was reported in New Zealand.
Early lockdowns, clear leadership, easily accessible testing, and good contact tracing measures helped the country rid itself of the virus.
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Although the coronavirus is still spreading through countries around the world, one nation can effectively say it is free of COVID-19.
The New Zealand Ministry of Health announced in a statement that it had zero new or active coronavirus cases on Monday local time.
—Ministry of Health – Manatū Hauora (@minhealthnz) June 8, 2020
According to the ministry, it has been 17 days since the last new coronavirus case was reported in New Zealand. As of Monday, nobody in New Zealand was receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19.
There were also zero new deaths attributed to the virus.
“Having no active cases for the first time since February 28 is certainly a significant mark in our journey,” New Zealand Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said in the statement. “But as we’ve previously said, ongoing vigilance against COVID-19 will continue to be essential.”
In total, New Zealand has confirmed just 1,154 cases and 22 deaths because of the coronavirus. The number of recovered cases in the country is now at 1,482.
As Insider’s Anna Medaris Miller previously reported, New Zealand was able to rid itself of COVID-19 with ease compared to other countries because it implemented aggressive public health policies to combat the coronavirus early on in the pandemic.
New Zealand implemented travel restrictions on February 3 despite having no known cases, and it closed schools around the same time. A lockdown came soon after.
By the end of April, the country had eliminated community spread of the virus. A month later, it had no new cases.
The country has also made testing widely quickly, and it’s prioritized contact tracing, which Insider’s Hilary Breuck reported “are the backbone of public-health work.”
The country has also benefitted from being less densely populated than others, but experts agree that comprehensive policies and strong leadership from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern set New Zealand up for success.
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