New Zealand Celebrates 100 Days Without A Single Case Of Coronavirus
As Australia continues to grapple with the threat of the coronavirus, kiwis across the Tasman have celebrated a very important milestone.
New Zealand has gone 100 days without a single case of coronavirus that has come from community transmission.
Many countries have hoped to emulate the Kiwi approach to dealing with the pandemic.
They locked down early, locked down hard and have come out the other side being able to have huge sporting events and gatherings. While the country will need to wade through huge debts and unemployment, like most other places around the world, New Zealand is at least looking like it can rebuild and move forward.
Since the global pandemic started earlier this year, New Zealand has recorded 1,219 infections and 22 deaths from Covid-19.
This said, New Zealand's population is only around 5 million residents. Using the 2017 population of 4.794 million people, the population density is approximately 46 people per square mile (18 people per square kilometer) which ranks New Zealand 166 in the world in terms of population density.
A substantial 86.1% of people living in New Zealand live either in or around a major city. The two largest cities are both on the North Island. Auckland is the largest by far, with 1.45 million people living there. Auckland has two natural harbors and is the trade center of the country. It is also one of the most livable cities in the world. The second largest city is the nation's capital of Wellington with a population of 398,000. Wellington is built along a fault line that causes some of the worst traffic in the country. On the South Island, the largest city is Christchurch with 382,000 people living within its limits. Other major cities include Hamilton (224,000), Tauranga (131,000), Napier-Hastings (130,000), Dunedin (117,000), and Palmerston North with 84,000.*
Despite the numbers of domestic COVID-19 cases having virtually disappeared, the country's leading scientist has urged caution.
Speaking about the milestone, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield warned that the virus can return at any moment and Kiwis need to remain vigilant.
In a statement, he said: "Achieving 100 days without community transmission is a significant milestone, however, as we all know, we can't afford to be complacent."
"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."
Australia recorded its deadliest day since the pandemic began yesterday (Sunday, August 9) after 17 people tragically died in Victoria over a 24-hour period.
The state also recorded 394 new cases of Covid-19, including 174 cases from an unknown source.
The second wave sweeping across Victoria has caused New Zealand to put travel bubble plans on hold for now because Australia wants to be considered as a whole rather than have agreements with individual states and territories.
Jacinda Ardern told Newshub: "It's clear to us that opening up with Realm countries, keeping in mind they are New Zealand passport holders, will come before any opening up with Australia."
"[Officials are] doing that. They're working with the airlines. That's going to take several weeks. Then we'll get a report back on exact dates when we'll be able to start the rollout of the reopening."
She refused to zero in on a date when that could be expected.
Following her handling of the pandemic, Ms Ardern's popularity had rocketed, with New Zealanders praising her leadership.
A new poll from Newshub recently listed her as the most popular Kiwi leader in a century.
The survey had a look at the preferred prime minister and Ms Ardern's rating was boosted by 20.8 points, which is the largest number since official polls were conducted.
Featured Image Credit: PA