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New Zealand, a country with a population similar to Louisiana's, reports one virus-related death

5 months 1 week 4 days ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 April 09, 2020 9:29 AM April 09, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ
Generic image of New Zealand

The outbreak of COVID-19 reached pandemic proportions on January 30 and shortly afterward, when New Zealand discovered its very first case of the virus, the Prime Minister closed the country's borders and took drastic measures to contain the spread of the illness.

As of Tuesday morning, research out of Johns Hopkins University shows that the country's quick action has resulted in one death.

New Zealand's population is roughly 4.7 million and the U.S. state of Louisiana has a similar population of 4.6 million.

Yet, Louisiana has lost a devastating total of 652 individuals to novel coronavirus. This is in stark contrast to New Zealand's total of one fatality.

Experts are taking a closer look at why New Zealand seems to be faring considerably better than other areas in the face of this global crisis.

According to CNN, the answer might be found in the government's implementation of swift and offensive measures to ward off the spread of the virus. These include shutting down borders and later putting the entire country on a strict lockdown. 

The lockdown went into effect March 25 and less than two weeks in, the number of new coronavirus cases per day has decreased for two days in a row.  

“The signs are promising,” Ashley Bloomfield, New Zealand's director-general of health, said Tuesday, according to the Post. 

The lack of deaths and decreasing new cases have prompted some to call for the government to loosen restrictions, but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has maintained the country will continue lockdown for two full 14-day incubation cycles.

Ardern announced the lockdown 48 hours ahead of time to prepare the country to stay at home except to exercise, to obtain essential items and to work if they are an essential worker. 

Swimming at the beach and hunting in bushland were also banned.

The number of new daily cases peaked at 89 on Thursday, with most cases involving international travel. 

The prime minister is reportedly considering a mandatory quarantine for New Zealanders returning to the country.

New Zealand has documented 1,160 cases total, with 241 recoveries, according to the Johns Hopkins University data. 

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