New Zealand seems to be giving up its zero-covid strategy as it faces the difficulty of trying to contain a highly contagious variant of the delta coronavirus. From October 6th, restrictions will begin to be relaxed in Auckland. In Auckland, the virus continues to spread despite a strict seven-week blockade.
Experts fear that this move will lead to a surge in cases that overwhelm the healthcare system. Over 50 percent Many Auckland people are fully vaccinated, but the government is under public pressure to ease strict restrictions.
Early in the pandemic, New Zealand chose an aggressive covid-19 elimination strategy. This meant banning foreign visitors and quickly locking down each time a case was detected. This approach was initially successful. In early August 2021, the country celebrated the five-month extension and no proceedings were filed locally.
Then, on August 17, a man in Auckland, New Zealand’s most populous city, tested positive for the delta variant. The city was closed soon. That is, residents could only leave home for essential reasons, and schools and non-essential businesses were closed.
Despite this swift response, the number of infected people exceeded 1,350. This is because the virus has settled in communities that have reached limits where it is difficult to comply with blockade rules. Michael baker At the University of Otago, New Zealand. “Many people have drug and alcohol addiction, mental health problems, and unstable living conditions,” he says.
The situation in Auckland reflects the situation in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. It soon became an outbreak from the absence of covid-19 After the delta variant arrives.
On October 4, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern admitted at a press conference that “the number of cases did not go to zero due to long-term strict restrictions,” and that the Delta variant felt like a “very hard-to-shake tentacle.” Said. “.
Ardan did not explicitly declare the end of the exclusion strategy, but she Three-stage plan Migrate Auckland from blockade, even though the virus is still circulating.
The first phase, which will take effect on October 6, will allow 10 people from 2 households to gather outdoors. The infant nursery will be reopened and outdoor recreation will be allowed.
The government will monitor the situation before starting the second phase. This will allow 25 people to gather outdoors and reopen stores and some public facilities. In the third phase, social gatherings for up to 50 people, hospitality facilities and schools will be reopened.
“I think people are outraged at the blockade, so the government felt they needed to act and do something different,” Baker says. “But what is worrisome now is that the number of beds in the ICU is so small that the number of cases is increasing rapidly and the medical system cannot handle it.”
Siouxsie Wiles I agree with the University of Auckland. “I think the government felt that it had to do this to keep people, but it vaccinated more people and continued its elimination strategy until the vaccine was available under the age of 12. I wish I had done it, “she says.
The deployment of vaccination in New Zealand has been delayed in the last few weeks due to the difficulty of getting the vaccine, but it has accelerated rapidly in the last few weeks. About 79% of people over the age of 12 are now taking their first dose.
The country’s elimination strategy has been tested by the Delta variant, but given that only 27 people have died of covid-19 in New Zealand so far, it should still be considered a major success, Wiles said. increase. “We have experienced an amazing pandemic compared to other countries, but now we are moving to another stage and we need to be mentally and physically prepared for it.”
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Why does New Zealand seem to give up on its Zero Covid strategy?
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