New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made world leaders jealous by defeating the coronavirus not once, but twice. Her efforts towards curbing the pandemic made her a global sensation. In an interview, Ardern reveals how her decision to eliminate the outbreak took shape.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tells @AP that the successful moonshot to eliminate the coronavirus came from the realization that the country's health system couldn't cope. https://t.co/AhPBDK4vU1— The Associated Press (@AP) December 16, 2020
“I remember my chief science adviser bringing me a graph that showed me what flattening the curve would look like for New Zealand. And where our hospital and health capacity was. And the curve wasn’t sitting under that line. So we knew that flattening the curve wasn’t sufficient for us," she said.
Ardern reveals that she never ruled out the idea of a strict lockdown. It was in March that the lockdown came into force. Sealing of borders catalysed the elimination of the virus. After that, the country experienced zero community spread for an impressive 102 days. The PM said that 'fear' motivated her to take stone-hard measures.
However, her journey towards achieving this victory faced some hurdles. The sudden emergence of COVID-19 cases in August greatly lowered her morale. She reflected on the moment when Trump said that New Zealand had a 'massive resurgence' of cases. Auckland opted for a second lockdown and beat the virus once again. The sudden origin of the cases remains unexplained to this day. However, Ardern speculated that the cases might have come from abroad.
On the COVID-19 Vaccine
Besides this, she stressed on the importance of making the COVID-19 vaccine available for all. She added that a vaccine certification process for allowing people to travel should be implemented.
In addition to this, Ardern expressed her worry over the economic disparity in New Zealand due to COVID-19. Jacinda Ardern's efforts proved to be fruitful when she won a landslide victory in New Zealand's general election.
Anoushka Das is an intern at SheThePeople.TV.