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Eliminating Covid-19 Is ‘Incredibly Difficult,’ Jacinda Ardern Says

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Eliminating Covid-19 Is ‘Incredibly Difficult,’ Jacinda Ardern Says

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand acknowledged an end to the country’s “Covid zero” strategy, seven weeks into a lockdown that had failed to halt an outbreak of the Delta variant.

The health advice has been that to date, we’ve managed to largely control the outbreak, but as you can see with this outbreak and with Delta, the return to zero is incredibly difficult. And our restrictions alone are not enough to achieve it quickly. In fact, for this outbreak, it’s clear that long periods of heavy restrictions has not got us to zero cases, but that is OK. Elimination was important because we didn’t have vaccines. Now we do, so we can begin to change the way we do things. We have more options, and there’s good cause for us to feel optimistic about the future, but we cannot rush. That’s why we need to continue to contain and control the virus as much as possible while we make our transition from a place where we only use heavy restrictions to a place where we use vaccines and everyday public health measures. We need to keep using the tools we have. We need to vaccinate. We need to test. We need to find cases. We need to isolate them and actively control any outbreak now and in the future.

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