Pandemic in New Zealand: as on another planet, testifies a Quebecer

New Zealand is one of the countries that has acted most rigorously to contain the pandemic and the result speaks for itself: there are no new cases of community transmission at present.

• Read also: All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic

For the past 24 hours, only 9 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the country for a total of only 2,276 since the start of the pandemic: an exceptional toll, which also shows a total of 25 deaths.

Alyson Bouffard, a Quebecker who lives in this country, testified about the sanitary measures in force, which are somewhat different from what we see elsewhere in the world.

“All the cases that you see declared are all at the border, in hotels requisitioned by the government,” Ms. Bouffard explained in an interview on LCN on Friday afternoon.

Because unlike other nations, New Zealand forces travelers arriving in the country to do a 14-day quarantine in a monitored hotel.

“The government is asking to pay $ 3,000 for a traveler and $ 4,000 for couples to be in a hotel guarded by the military. The cases of COVID are all in these hotels, ”Ms. Bouffard said.

Dissuasive measure

This very strict measure, which several countries like Canada are considering implementing, is a real deterrent for those who would be tempted to go on a trip.

“Even though the trips are not expensive, people don’t want to pay the $ 3000 when they come back!” illustrated Alyson Bouffard.

In addition, the authorities have a very rapid response to the virus: they reconfine as soon as a few cases of COVID appear in the community.

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“The last time we had cases in the community, it didn’t take a day and we went back to confinement,” she explained.

Alert levels can also be raised on the basis of suspected COVID cases: a way of doing things that could create discontent, but it is not.

“Citizens see how well it works and the percentage of the population that is not happy is quite small. Here, you can do pretty much anything you want, even going to festivals. People are very satisfied, ”Ms. Bouffard assured.

Dining rooms and cinemas are also open.

Tight containment

Thus, as soon as there are cases, the population is confined, and as soon as there are no more, life resumes its normal course.

“For me, it’s like the virus doesn’t exist, I haven’t seen sick people. It’s pretty crazy for me to see what’s going on in the world, ”said the Quebecker.

Masks are mandatory on buses, public transport, on airplanes, but are not mandatory everywhere else.

“I don’t see a lot of people with masks, even I don’t have a mask here. The two meters is not compulsory currently, but if we return to level 2, it is, ”detailed the young woman.

Alyson Bouffard lived through two lockdowns in Auckland and everything had to be closed, but the whole thing only lasted two to three months.

As for vaccination, nothing has started yet, given the current control of the pandemic and the urgency of the situation elsewhere in the world. It should get under way over the next few months.

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