Jacinda Ardern

How Have Countries Found Success Fighting COVID-19?

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic in March of 2020. Originating in Wuhan, China, COVID-19 has put a halt on people’s lives and altered the way society now goes about their day. Countries around the world have used different courses of action in an attempt to eradicate the virus. Some countries’ strategies have brought them closer to normalcy while others’ have brought an increase in cases and death rates. Countries such as New Zealand (24 cases), Taiwan (7 cases), and South Korea (336 cases) found success by implementing strict regulations resulting in low death rates and declining cases, according to WorldOMeter.

New Zealand had detected their first COVID-19 case on Friday, Feb. 28, and less than a month later, “the country shut its borders to outside travelers, […] shut down non-essential businesses, [and instituted] a ‘level-four lockdown,’” according to TIME. A level-four lockdown restricted people to only interacting with people within
their homes in an attempt to completely eradicate the virus. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wanted to eliminate the virus completely, rather than just mitigating it, due to the lack of testing in March. These restrictions were lifted on Tuesday, June 8 as the country celebrated 100 days without cases. When four new cases arose in Auckland two days later, the country quickly returned to its level-four lockdown. “Going hard and early is still the best course of action,”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wanted to eliminate the virus completely, rather than just mitigating it, due to the lack of testing in March.

 

Ardern said after she restarted her COVID-19 briefings. As of now, according to Covid-19 Alert System, “there are extra restrictions on social gatherings, funerals and tangihanga in the Auckland region. The rest of New Zealand is at Alert Level 2 and will stay at Alert Level 2,” at which the virus would be contained though the risk of transmitting the virus still remains. According to WorldOMeter, New Zealand is now left with 1,776 cases, 1,635 recovered and 24 deaths. 

Taiwan also has made significant progress, despite being one of the epicenters of the global pandemic in its early stages. According to TIME, “the government used contact tracing and mobile Sim-tracking to identify and ensure those in quarantine were actually abiding by the rules.” Moreover, medical officials updated the public frequently and businesses enforced strict precautionary measures to remain open. Vice President Lai Ching-te, who is also an epidemiologist, and the previous SARS outbreak influencedTaiwan’s quick response and handling of COVID-19. Although there have been some privacy concerns due to the Sim tracking, Taiwan’s ability to slow the spread and deaths of COVID-19 has been ranked as one of the best. Today, Taiwan stands with 495 cases, 473 recovered and 7 deaths according to WorldOMeter.

South Korea’s belligerent and initial response to COVID-19 has allowed the country to keep its fatality and case count low. TIME reports that “[South Korea’s] continued vigilance, extensive testing and contact tracing, isolation, and treatment of confirmed cases remains a model that most other countries can only aspire to, […] especially as it managed to do so without grinding its economy to a halt.” South Korea’s early reaction facilitated the production of thousands of COVID-19 tests for its citizens and other countries. Science Daily revealed that “South Koreans accept the loss of privacy as a necessary tradeoff for public health security.” Doing so was successful as South Korea stands with 21,432 cases, 16,636 recovered and 336 deaths according to WorldOMeter.

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