New Zealand Marks 100 Days Without Community Spread of Coronavirus

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has a lot to smile about as New Zealand just went 100 days with no community transmission of the Coronavirus, according to the BBC. However, local officials warn now is not the time to be complacent.

“We have seen overseas how quickly the virus can reemerge and spread in places where it was previously under control,” New Zealand’s Director-General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield said yesterday, according to CNN. “We need to be prepared to quickly stamp out any future cases in New Zealand. Don’t let the team down — none of us can afford to do that.”

The last case of community transmission in New Zealand was on May 1. There are only 23 active cases, and they are all in isolation. The country has recorded 1,219 cases and 22 deaths since late February when cases there were first reported. The U.S., on the other hand, has surpassed five million total cases and 163,000 deaths.

At that time, New Zealand instituted tough border restrictions, early lockdown restrictions and an aggressive test-and-trace program that have all led to the country’s success. All of the lockdown orders have now been rescinded. 

However, the country did not stress wearing masks, but now New Zealand’s minister of health is encouraging households to stock up on them in the event there is another outbreak. New Zealand also has advantages over other countries in that it has no land borders and is not densely populated. In addition to New Zealand, Taiwan reportedly reached the 100-day milestone last month.