A second person died of the coronavirus in New Zealand after the country’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, claimed to successfully fight back against the disease.
The woman in her 90s died of the virus on Thursday while receiving care at Burwood Hospital in Christchurch.
She had a number of additional health problems when she was admitted to hospital.
The woman died without the comfort of relatives because of the level four restrictions of the country.
The days before her death her family was not allowed to go to the hospital, but the medical staff sat next to her.
The woman had only recently tested positive for coronavirus and was among the 20 residents of Rosewood Rest Home and Hospital who were transported to Burwood Hospital earlier this week.
The death comes after Ms. Ardern praised New Zealanders on Thursday for setting up a “defensive wall” that “broke the transmission chain” after the country moved quickly to impose a lockdown.
The death toll in New Zealand has risen to two after a woman in her nineties tragically died of coronavirus on Thursday after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern claimed the country won the war on the virus
The prime minister said the country had already “turned a corner” six weeks after the epidemic reached New Zealand.
Closing measures could be softened in just over a week, Ardern said, opening the door for some people to return to work if their employers can guarantee social distance.
Two other New Zealanders are currently in a critical condition, including five undergoing intensive care.
After a series of three days with lower daily cases were reported, NZ recorded a small increase in cases on Good Friday.
Reported coronavirus numbers in New Zealand increased from 29 on Thursday to 44 on Friday, bringing the national census to 1283.
In a Friday update, Caroline McElnay, director of public health, said the spike showed that New Zealand couldn’t be “too complacent” in its response to the virus.
New Zealand only confirmed its first case on February 26, but closed its borders on March 19 and began full closure on March 26.
Australia has also flattened the curve, with both countries conducting more widespread tests than Britain or the United States.
In an update on Friday, the director of public health, Dr. Caroline McElnay (pictured), which showed the peak of 44 cases that New Zealand couldn’t be ‘too complacent’ in its response to the virus
This chart shows the daily number of coronavirus cases recorded in New Zealand every day (in yellow), according to figures from the Department of Health. The red line shows the declining growth rate in virus cases
This chart shows the flattening curve in Australia, where drastic measures were imposed at an earlier stage than much of Europe
This chart shows the equivalent figures for the UK. By the time Boris Johnson imposed a lockdown, thousands of cases had already been confirmed in Britain
How Australia and New Zealand Lead the Test
Population: 25.7 million
Rate: one in 80 people
Population: 5.0 million
Rate: one in 97 people
Population: 329.5 million
Rate: one in 149 people
Population: 66.4 million
Rate: one in 235 people
On Thursday, Ardern praised New Zealanders for “saving lives” by obeying government rules in the first half of a four-week blockade.
“Halfway through, I have no hesitation in saying that what New Zealanders have done in the past two weeks is enormous,” she said.
“In light of the greatest threat to human health we’ve seen in over a century, Kiwis have quietly and collectively implemented a nationwide defense wall.
“You break the transmission chain. And you did it. ‘
She warned against complacency and added, “When we go to Easter, I thank you and your bubble.
“We have what we need to win this marathon. You have remained calm, you have been strong, you have saved lives and now we must continue. ‘
Ardern says her government will decide on April 20 whether to extend or lift the lockdown, which ends at midnight on April 22.
New Zealand is currently at the highest warning level 4, but Ardern said ministers could decide to move it to level 3.
Under level 3, people are generally not ordered to stay at home, although public buildings are still being closed and mass gatherings canceled.
Travel would be more limited “in areas with clusters or community transfers” than in general, and “should close some non-essential businesses” rather than all.
“Ask if it is possible for your company to take social distance. Can you build in contact tracking tools or mechanisms to track your supply train and customers? Ardern asked today, saying that next week there would be “more detailed guidance” on what a relaxation of restrictions would look like.
New Zealand already started testing for the virus on January 22, although it only confirmed a positive case on February 26.
The government then began drastic measures in the area of public health in mid-March, even though there were relatively few cases of the disease.
As early as March 14, all newcomers to New Zealand were ordered to self-isolate, while cruise ships were banned. Ardern announced today that citizens returning home will be detained in an “accredited facility” for 14 days.
In Australia, only six days after Australia reported its first case, on January 25, a ban was imposed on foreigners entering from China.
Restrictions on self-isolation in Australia were extended to those who returned from Iran on February 29, South Korea on March 5, and Italy on March 11.
Both Australia and New Zealand have also quarantined some people in hotels. Evacuees from Wuhan were kept completely outside the Australian mainland and instead spent their two-week quarantine on Christmas Island.
In contrast, UK airports continued to allow people to exit hotspots such as Italy without health checks. Airports are still not conducting temperature controls and there are no special rules for newcomers.
New Zealand had only 32 confirmed cases on March 18, when Ardern announced that all non-residents and non-nationals were outlawed.
This chart shows COVID-19 infections in the days since 100 cases were confirmed in (top to bottom) the US, Spain, the UK, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore
This chart shows how Australia and New Zealand both test far more people than Great Britain and the United States when the numbers are adjusted by the population
Australia’s quarantine condition was extended to everyone who entered the country on March 15, and its borders were closed to everyone except civilians and residents as of March 20.
Britain has not imposed such a ban, although airlines have cut flights significantly. The Channel Tunnel remains open.
Gatherings of more than 100 people have been banned in New Zealand since March 19, and schools, bars, and restaurants were supposed to close from March 24.
Ardern announced a total level 4 lockdown on March 26, after which there were 363 confirmed cases. Britain had waited for 6,650 cases before Boris Johnson announced a British shutdown three days earlier.
In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on March 22 the closure of bars, clubs, casinos and places of worship. Australian state governments have passed school closings at different rates.
The New Zealand government official census shows that yesterday, the eighth consecutive day of decline from that measurement, only 12 positive tests were added to the numbers.
Ardern has urged people to stay at home – though she had to demote her health minister after breaking the social distance rules by driving to the beach with his family.
The minister, David Clark, said in a statement that he had “been an idiot and I understand why people will be angry with me.”
Australia kept its early evacuees from China all the way from the mainland by quarantining Christmas Island, where they stayed in a former immigration detention center (photo)
New Zealand – which has about five million inhabitants – is currently testing about 3,500 people a day, according to government figures.
By comparison, the UK ran about 15,000 tests on Tuesday – just four times as much for a population 13 times larger.
Britain would have to test nearly 50,000 people a day to meet New Zealand’s screening level.
The testing regimen in New Zealand has increased in recent days and about 25,000 tests have been conducted since early April.
The government says it has more than 47,000 test kits in stock, almost as many as the 51,165 tests performed so far.
New Zealand has also published highly detailed figures on its government website, even with likely cases not confirmed.
Each case is listed with an age group, rough location and – if relevant – details of that person’s recent international journey, including their flight number.
Most countries have not published a suspect count. New Zealand has 1,239 cases if included, 992 of which are confirmed.
A Kiwi has died so far, an older woman on the South Island. Health officials said she was in her 70s and initially diagnosed with the flu.
On the side of a road in Wellington today is a sign saying New Zealanders ‘stay home’
New Zealand police will stop stopping vehicles on the state road near Warkworth on Thursday (photo), to ensure those traveling for essential reasons
Meanwhile, Australia also appears to be smoothing the curve with just 54 deaths and 6,204 cases registered from Friday night.
Border closings and Australia’s decision to ignore the early urges of the World Health Organization, no need to limit travel to and from China also seems to have protected the country from a worst-case scenario of 150,000 deaths.
Australia has conducted more tests than Great Britain, despite having only 25.4 million inhabitants compared to the UK’s 66.4 million.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison believes that COVID-19 restrictions may have prevented tens of thousands of infections that would otherwise have occurred.
Chief medical officer Brendan Murphy says, “We know the tools we use work, and we can scale them up and down if necessary, and the data we have now suggests they work.”
Professor Tony Blakely, epidemiologist and public health specialist at the University of Melbourne, said Australia had done better than he expected.
“I think we’ve done remarkably well and some of the headlines look really good,” said Professor Blakely.
“We really succeeded in greatly reducing the case load. Very impressive. Well done.’
An empty Lambton Quay, Wellington’s main shopping area, can be seen on April 3 (photo) when the country locked
As an island continent that can only be reached by long sea or air travel from most of the world, Australia should have natural benefits in fighting pandemics.
Most of the last remaining places without coronavirus cases are remote Pacific islands, including Palau and Samoa. Likewise, some animal diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease and H5N1 bird flu, have never reached Australia.
Australians ‘happy’ with COVID-19 treatment
Nearly two-thirds of Australians (65 percent) say the federal government handles COVID-19 well, according to Roy Morgan research.
Of the Australians who agree that the government is handling the crisis well, 21 percent agree completely, while 44 percent agree at least. Only 6 percent ‘strongly disagree’.
Fewer Australians – 59 percent – still believe the next month’s worst is yet to come for the pandemic than a week earlier.
The figures come from a nationwide survey of 987 Australians aged 18 and over last weekend.
The number of Australians who are concerned that they or someone they know will catch the virus has fallen slightly to 73 percent.
Four out of five Australians were willing to sacrifice some of their human rights if this would help prevent the spread of the disease.
Professor Blakely said that Australia’s lower infection rate compared to countries such as the US and the UK can be partly attributed to the country’s geographic isolation.
“We had ten more days to actually respond and prevent it from coming that way,” he said.
“We worked hard to make sure it didn’t work out that way, but we were also lucky to have a little more time at the bottom of the world to respond.”
Asian neighbors who acted quickly against coronavirus, including Taiwan (379 cases, five deaths) and Singapore (1,623 and six), performed even better.
You could also argue that our geographic proximity to Asia and the fact that Singapore, South Korea – to some extent China – really responded very well and perhaps emulated a little bit more than some of the Western countries might be for a small reason are, “said Professor Blakely.
“But I think we had a little more time to respond.”
The first case of COVID-19 infection in Australia – a Chinese citizen who arrived from Guangzhou on January 19 – was reported in Melbourne on January 25.
Despite advice from the World Health Organization, Australia acted quickly to close the borders. On February 3, WHO boss Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus still said no measures were needed that would “unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade.”
With New Zealand shut down due to COVID-19, police (pictured in Warkworth on Thursday) are setting up checkpoints to ensure people travel on the road for essential purposes
Despite the success of New Zealand and Australia, epidemiologists specializing in disease outbreaks have warned that drastic decisions to close a country do not necessarily eliminate infections and can only slow down a spike in cases.
Experts agree that lockdowns “flatten” the curve in the short term, but some say that lifting will inevitably peak in cases.
British government advisers warned of a second COVID-19 wave in the fall, after lifting “very stringent behavioral and social interventions.”
The SAGE group did not explain what the measures were and whether the UK had adopted them, but they are also thought to include closing entire regions, such as China.
Top scientists say the deadly coronavirus could spread after blocking by infecting patients who had no idea they had the deadly disease.
Cases could snowball within days, with the SARS-CoV-2 virus known to be at least twice as contagious as the flu and one patient spreading it to about three others.
A nurse tests a member of the public on a COVID-19 ride through the test center at Northcross in Auckland on April 2 (photo)
COVID-19 patients can be asymptomatic for days, meaning they unconsciously pass it on to others around them in the community.
Experts also warn that the removal of locks and the re-entry of international travelers could lead to a spike in imported cases.
Nevertheless, New Zealand will now introduce new controls to keep the number of cases low.
From Friday, each new arrival must be quarantined for two weeks, similar to a measure in Australia.
The government will also turn to tracking applications to help track contacts, a model that has received high praise in South Korea and Singapore.
There will also be roadblocks around New Zealand to prevent Kiwis from traveling to their beach houses or visiting relatives over Easter.