New Zealand has returned to pre-pandemic life, with people attending sports stadiums and eating out in restaurants after marking 100 days without a domestic case of Covid-19.
“Achieving 100 days without community transmission is a significant milestone, however, as we all know, we can’t afford to be complacent,” Dr Ashley Bloomfield, the Director-General of Health said.
“We have seen overseas how quickly the virus can re-emerge and spread in places where it was previously under control, and we need to be prepared to quickly stamp out any future cases in New Zealand.”
New Zealand lifted all Covid restrictions, declaring the nation virus-free in early June, Daily Times reports.
However, The Pacific island nation warned its five million residents against lowering their guard as it observes how neighbouring countries such as Australia and Vietnam are suffering surges once more.
The country stamped out the virus by locking down early and thoroughly in March, when only about 100 people had tested positive. In the last three months, the only cases have been in residents who have returned from abroad, who have then been quarantined upon re-entry.
Although the country’s successful fight against the virus has made it one of the safest places in the world right now, a resurgence of infections due to recent laxity could be used as ammunition against the incumbent.
New Zealand has 23 active coronavirus cases in quarantine facilities, and there have been instances of security mistakes, including cases of residents evading quarantine after returning from abroad.
In its continuing fight against the virus, the country increased testing at managed isolation facilities and clinics last week and has begun developing Bluetooth technology to track cases.