New Zealand, hitherto modeled on the “Zero Kovid” strategy, is now moving towards a massive vaccination campaign to combat the Delta variant.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern acknowledged this week that her country had failed to curb the coronavirus with a Zero Kovid strategy.
In August, the highly contagious Delta variant quickly spread across the archipelago, damaging the health system. In particular, only one in five New Zealanders has been fully vaccinated.
Outbreaks require alert levels in various parts of the peninsula. Auckland, the most populous country in the country, has been under strict control for seven weeks.
As of October 7, there were 376 active COVID-19 cases in New Zealand, a total of 4,480 cases since the outbreak began.
So far, the country has established itself as a global model, because in early 2021, for six consecutive months COVID-19 cases were not registered, thanks to its strict border controls.
Her 27 deaths, compared to the 11,405 deaths announced in Quebec, have left the young Labor leader popularly known as “Jacinda-Mania”.
Since then, discontent has replaced enthusiasm in the population and nearly 2,000 New Zealand demonstrators protested against the lockdown last weekend.
Jacinda Ardern called the protest a “slap in the face” to those who adhered to the ban on meetings, AFP reported.
She said Auckland would remain limited, but the government would study the possibility of lifting certain measures each week.
The 41-year-old prime minister has replaced the “Zero COVID” target with a massive vaccination campaign, satisfying those who have been slack by the government on the issue.
As of August, only 20% of New Zealanders are fully immunized, which is one of the lowest rates in developed countries.
As of October 7, this percentage had reached 70%. New Zealand is ahead of Germany and the United States in having a vaccination rate of 68% and 64%, respectively.
“It is important to get rid of the virus because we do not have a vaccine, we have it now, so we can start changing the way we do things,” Ms Ordern told reporters.
COVID-19 in New Zealand
- The country has a population of 5 million
- 4,480 COVID-19 cases since the outbreak
- 376 active cases
- 27 deaths
(Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health)