The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future Volume 2
CHAPTER 11: New Zealand's Response to the First Wave of COVID-19
Published:27 Apr 2022
Sarah Jefferies, Anne French, Petra Muellner, Virginia Hope, Nigel French, Caroline McElnay, Patricia Priest, 2022. "New Zealand's Response to the First Wave of COVID-19", The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future Volume 2, Michael D Waters, Alok Dhawan, Tim Marrs, Diana Anderson, Stafford Warren, Claude L Hughes, Michael D Waters, Alok Dhawan, Tim Marrs, Diana Anderson, Stafford Warren, Claude L Hughes
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New Zealand's initial public health response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic was characterised by risk-informed early border closures, a relatively rapid implementation of national lockdown including severe movement restrictions, healthcare reprioritisation, enhancements in contact tracing, isolation and testing capacities. The initial response was facilitated with effective community engagement. This led to a low relative burden of COVID-19 in New Zealand, including only 22 deaths, and limited inequitable COVID-19 outcomes during the first wave of community transmission of disease. New Zealand's initial goal of disease elimination was reached by May 2020; however, the broader costs of this approach including socio-economic impacts, and longer-term sustainability, remain to be fully discerned.