New Zealand’s Secret

New Zealand has been seen as a global superstar in terms of COVID-19 response efforts, quickly topping the Government Response Stringency Index and at one point achieving elimination of COVID-19.
What did it? 

  • Quickly ramping up testing capacity helped identify transmission chains early on and isolate cases to limit further spread.
  • By late April, robust contact tracing meant that people were isolating an average of 2–7 days before the onset of illness.
  • Strict lockdowns and border closures helped minimize economic and mental health turmoil, which can degrade compliance with public health policies.

As a result, New Zealand’s lockdown was “remarkable for its stringency and its brevity,” according to an accompanying commentary.

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