New Zealand insists Covid elimination ‘best strategy’

Sydney, Australia, Aug 26 (EFE).- New Zealand’s prime minister said Thursday that eliminating Covid-19 is still “the best strategy” as the entire country continues its lockdown amid an outbreak of the Delta variant.

“Right now experts are telling us to take on Delta differently, but they’ve also told us to stick with the elimination strategy for now. In their view it is not only possible, it remains the best strategy, and I totally agree,” Jacinda Ardern said during a press conference.

After last week detecting its first local Covid-19 case in six months, the New Zealand authorities ordered the lockdown of the entire country, which has been extended until at least Friday.

Since then, a total of 277 infections have been recorded, 68 of them on Thursday.

“No one wants to use lockdowns forever and I can tell you now that is not our intention. We have new tools for managing Covid, and we will use them, but for now while we vaccinate, elimination is the goal and we can do it,” Ardern said.

New Zealand, which has one of the slowest vaccination rates of developed countries, has been recognized worldwide for its effective management of the pandemic, which consisted of closing its borders and carrying out hard and early lockdowns.

To date, around 20 percent of its 5-million population have been fully vaccinated.

The government intends to finish vaccinating the target population before the end of the year to reopen its borders in the first quarter of 2022.

New Zealand has accumulated 3,227 cases of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, including 26 deaths. EFE


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