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New Zealand’s Covid strategy was one of the world’s most successful – what can we learn from it? | Michael Baker and Nick Wilson

This pandemic and future pandemic threats will remain challenging – New Zealand needs to build on its achievements

Two weeks ago marked the two-year anniversary of New Zealand’s adoption of the elimination strategy and a lockdown that successfully stamped out the first wave of Covid-19. By chance, it was also the week that the government announced a major relaxation of Covid-19 control measures in response to the Omicron variant wave sweeping the country.

By most metrics, the New Zealand Covid-19 response – the initial elimination strategy which has now transitioned to a mitigation strategy – has been one of the most successful in the world. It got the country through the first 18 months of the pandemic until vaccines became widely available, giving it very low Covid-19 mortality rates. Life expectancy actually increased during this period. Protecting public health has also been good for protecting the economy, resulting in relatively good economic growth and low unemployment.

Prof Michael Baker and Prof Nick Wilson are epidemiologists at the University of Otago’s Department of Public Health in Wellington

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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