New Zealand: PM Jacinda Ardern Calls Delta Variant a Game Changer, Drops “Zero Covid” Goal

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern admitted on Monday that the country’s “Zero Covid” achievement is now shaken. After remaining free from Covid for months, the island nation began to see an increase in the number of infections in August of this year. However, the government tried hard to contain the spread, but failed vigorously. The prime minister considered the current strategy ineffective and must implement new measures in the country. Also, it was one of the few countries in the world that possibly kept Covid free for months.

New Zealand may never go back to the “Zero Covid” situation

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called for a new COVID-19 strategy in New Zealand. The prime minister admitted on Monday that the country’s widely touted “Zero Covid” label had failed in a stubborn outbreak due to the Delta variant.

Source: Lowy Institutes

In addition, the government has done its best to control the recent outbreak that began in August this year. After remaining free from Covid for months, the island nation is now witnessing a sudden spike in daily infections. The outbreak that started in Auckland is affecting other regions as well. However, Jacinda Ardern stated that she will implement new measures in the country to contain the virus.

Strict restrictions saved the country

It was the strict restrictions that helped New Zealand stay free of Covid for months. The country has successfully managed its COVID-19 status better than any other country since the beginning of the pandemic. In addition, the harsh elimination policy largely saved the island nation from the effects of the deadly virus. In addition, citizens enjoyed a normal domestic life due to restrictions on international travel. Soon after the government loosened its restrictions, the consequences were unimaginable. Thereafter, the sudden outbreak in August resulted in a seven-week blockade in several parts of the country, including Auckland.

The Game Changer

Jacinda Ardern said the deadly Delta variant is a “game changer”. We’re not even denying your statement. The New Zealand condition is a living example of how transmissible and infectious the Delta variant of COVID-19 is. Just when the government thought they were all strapped in and ready for the virus, the situation changed.

New Zealand: PM Jacinda Ardern calls Delta variant a game modifier, Drops
Source: Al Jazeera

Furthermore, the prime minister emphasized the fact that, despite all the tough restrictions, they are still not able to reach zero. Besides, she has a lot of doubts about the whole situation. We can’t really say whether the country will once again return to the “Covid Zero” situation or not. However, the government plans to ease some restrictions in Auckland, although there is no reduction in daily cases. They will also focus on vaccinations in order to keep the virus under control.

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