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3 years since Covid-19 arrived in New Zealand

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Last week, on February 28th, New Zealand marked a significant milestone – it has been three years since Covid-19 was first reported in the country.

Since then, the government has implemented a response strategy that aimed to eliminate the virus, which has been successful in minimizing infection and death from Covid-19 during the first two years of the pandemic.

Thanks to this approach, the government had enough time to roll out vaccines and improve treatments before widespread infection during the pandemic’s third year.

As a result, fewer people have died in New Zealand than in other countries. In fact, New Zealand has had the lowest mortality rate (death rate) out of all OECD countries. The chances of dying from Covid-19 in New Zealand have gone from around one in a hundred during the first two years to less than one in a thousand now.

Now that New Zealand is like other countries and is transitioning from an emergency pandemic response to treating Covid-19 as another important infectious disease, the first big challenge is identifying an optimal strategy for managing infection now that Covid-19 is always present.

This means that New Zealand will need to continue to be vigilant and take measures to prevent the spread of the virus while allowing people to resume their daily lives.

Covid Facts

COVID-19 is caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2.

In 2022, Covid-19 became the second leading cause of death in New Zealand, behind ischaemic heart disease.

Globally, it is likely to have been the third leading cause of death for the past three years (2020-22).

758,390,564 globally have had Covid-19

6,859,093 have died globally from Covid-19

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