New Zealand recently announced the news of victory which other countries in the world are still struggling to achieve. The country announced that they have successfully achieved elimination from the virus and now will bring relaxation to their lockdown restrictions with close monitoring.
New Zealand has claimed that it has been successful in eliminating coronavirus and have made relaxation in the lockdown from level four to level three as new cases reported are in single digits.
At a news conference, New Zealand reported one new case, four "probable cases" and one new death.
Ashley Bloomfield, New Zealand's Director-General of Health, says that the low numbers reported have given them the confidence to investigate from where new cases are coming from, "does give us confidence that we've achieved our goal of elimination, which -- that never meant zero but it does mean we know where our cases are coming from."
He added, "Our goal is elimination. And again, that doesn't mean eradication but it means we get down to a small number of cases so that we are able to stamp out any cases and any outbreak that might come out."
The Prime Minister of the country, Jacinda Arden says that even though they have successfully eliminated the virus but the country needs to remain alert and ready to receive any newly reported cases.
"So as we have said elimination means we may well reach zero but we may well then have small numbers of cases coming up again, that doesn't mean we have failed, it just means that we are in the position to have that zero tolerance approach to have a very aggressive management of those cases and keep those numbers low and fading out again," she said.
Ardern also said that in the past few days, cases in single-digit have been reported calling the numbers "incredible" while sending her sympathies to those who had lost loved ones during the pandemic.
She praised the efforts of New Zealanders, saying: "It's been nearly 5 weeks living and working in ways that just two months ago would have been impossible. But we did. And we have done it together."
The level three lockdown, that goes into effect on Tuesday, has allowed the businesses to open partially with some restrictions and including physical distancing of two meters when outside the house.
Schools are to reopen with limited capacity, and work such as manufacturing and forestry will resume, although people are encouraged to work from home unless that is not possible. People will be allowed to order buy takeaway food, and take part in low-risk recreational activities including swimming at the beach. Up to 10 people will be allowed to gather for weddings and funerals.
While public places such as libraries, gym, and museums will continue to remain close and the measures will be reassessed in two weeks on May 11.
According to Johns Hopkins University, New Zealand has a total of 1,469 confirmed novel coronavirus cases and 19 deaths.