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Overseas media shocked by NZ's "just one case" lockdown

Aug 18, 2021

New Zealand is in alert level 4 lockdown after one case was found in the community, and it's got the international media talking.

"One coronavirus case. That's all it took to send New Zealand into a three-day, nationwide lockdown late Tuesday as the country's six-month streak without local transmission came to an end."

That's how Washington Post's correspondent Michael E. Miller opened his story as news broke last night New Zealand was heading into a level 4 lockdown.

It was a angle echoed by other international outlets, all seemingly surprised by the sharp action taken by our government.

"Going hard and early has worked for us before," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told the nation last night.

"New Zealand to begin a three-day lockdown after a single case is reported" read the headline from New York Times yesterday.

A CNN headline said this: "New Zealand announces it's locking down the entire country... over one Covid case".

NPR wrote that our move into a strict lockdown highlights our "vastly different approach" from "most other nations, which are attempting to suppress [Covid-19's] spread rather than eliminate it entirely".

Beyond the headlines, US outlets and the BBC mention New Zealand's low vaccination rates as key points in their coverage.

NPR put it quite simply, like this: "The country has been struggling to fully vaccinate its people."

Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield echoed Jacinda Ardern's warning yesterday and said even with high vaccination rates, the country would still need to have public health measures in place.

While a rush on supermarkets last night made it to both the Washington Post and BBC coverage, albeit a single line. The New York Times' live blog had a this to say on the topic: "New Zealanders flocked to supermarkets to stock up, leaving toilet paper aisles bare, in scenes reminiscent of the earliest days of the pandemic."

Zambia reporter for Diamond TV Dingindaba Jonah Buyoya had this perspective:

New Zealand’s government has taken drastic action by putting the entire nation into a strict lockdown for at least three days after finding a single case of coronavirus infection.(Aljazeera) That's probably also because with a GDP Per capita of 42,084.35 USD, they can afford it.

— Dingindaba Jonah Buyoya (@BuyoyaJonah) August 17, 2021


This is an official COVID-19 ALERT.

All of New Zealand is now at Covid-19 alert level 4.

The alert level will be reviewed after 3 days for all areas EXCEPT Auckland & Coromandel Peninsula which is likely to remain at level 4 for an initial period of 7 days.

A community case of Covid-19 has been identified.

Stay at home where possible & follow the Alert Level 4 guidelines. This will stop the spread of COVID-19 and SAVE LIVES.

Everyone is asked to:

Wear a mask and keep a 2 metre distance from others whenever you leave your home.

If you are sick, call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice about getting tested.

Keep on scanning QR codes whenever you leave your home.

Practice good hygiene - wash hands often.

Services including supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics & petrol stations will stay open at Alert Level 4.

For more information on Alert Level 4 go to [the government website]


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