- Despite New Zealand going into the strictest lockdown just after the detection of a case of the Delta variant, it has not been able to crush the outbreak entirely.
- The NZ PM has announced a phase-out plan for Aucklanders to move out of lockdown.
- Scientists believe that this pandemic may not end soon, though its effects may be mitigated.
New Zealand was one of the few countries which successfully contained the initial spread of COVID-19 on its shores.
However, the resurgence of the virus has started disrupting some parts of the world, re-emerging in Kiwiland as well.
The Jacinda Ardern-led NZ Government, which boasted successful containment of the pathogen in the initial outbreak in 2020, has now shed its zero-COVID-19 strategy in the country.
Image source: © 2021 Kalkine Media New Zealand Ltd
Delta variant enters NZ in August
Highly contagious Delta variant, which escaped a quarantine facility in August and entered the country, has already infected more than 1300 people, majorly from Auckland.
Now, new cases have been detected in the Waikato region.
Despite strict lockdowns and restrictions imposed by the NZ Government for more than six weeks, the authorities have failed to curb the spread of the deadly virus, though NZ authorities claim to keep the outbreak under control.
Govt chalks out phased ease-out programme for Aucklanders
On Monday, the NZ PM announced putting an end to the country’s elimination strategy and announced a roadmap outlining the ease of lockdown measures across Auckland.
The PM has urged her countrymen to get vaccinated to check the spread of the virus.
As per the country’s Health Ministry, nearly 79% of New Zealanders have received their first dose, while at least 49% have been fully vaccinated.
PM Ardern announced a cautious plan for Aucklanders, beginning Tuesday, wherein the residents can go out and meet others. She also announced the reopening of early childhood centres, etc.
However, the phased reopening of retail stores, restaurants, and bars is yet to be worked upon.
Will COVID-19 ever end?
One of the most sought-after questions of the post-COVID era is when the world will see an end to the pandemic.
Scientists opine that COVID-19 may not end soon, it might stay with us for decades or even longer, but with mitigated effects.
It may no longer pose the effect of a deadly disease or a crisis but exist as an irritant like common flu.
People across the world would eventually develop immunity against the virus either through infection or vaccination.
However, if new COVID-19 variants or mutations having ghastly impacts develop, it could complicate the entire picture, thereby wreaking more havoc around the world, may even evade the effects of vaccination.
How has pandemic changed the global economy?
Whether the pandemic is going to end anytime soon or not, one thing is for sure that it has severely impacted the global economy.
- Continuous lockdowns and restrictions have left national governments struggling.
- Unemployment rates have risen in almost all major economies.
- With the majority of the resources being used for fighting the pandemic and buying vaccines to safeguard the nation’s population, most of the countries are on the verge of recession. It is pointed out that the only major economy to grow in 2020 was China, with a growth rate of 2.3%.
- The travel and tourism industry has been severely damaged and must cover a long road to recovery.
- The hospitality sector is facing a crisis as the pandemic has imposed a global shutdown to most of the restaurants, bars, and other entertainment centres.
- However, amid all these, pharmaceutical companies have emerged as winners as governments across the world are pumping in billions of dollars for treatment and vaccination programmes.
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc in all walks of life ever since it started spreading in 2020. Though the roll-out of vaccines in different parts of the world has given hope to people, the road to recovery is long.