After Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's swift action amid the global pandemic, New Zealand is now celebrating its 100th day without a single new local case of COVID-19.
The Ministry of Health said the nation, which has a population of just under 5 million, had accomplished the feat in a statement on Sunday, August 9.
“Achieving 100 days without community transmission is a significant milestone, however, as we all know, we can’t afford to be complacent. We have seen overseas how quickly the virus can re-emerge and spread in places where it was previously under control, and we need to be prepared to quickly stamp out any future cases in New Zealand,” New Zealand’s director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield said.
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Ardern has been praised for her leadership throughout the pandemic, putting the country into one of the world's most restrictive lockdowns and remaining crystal clear on the maximum level of lockdown she was putting the country under - and why. She was praised for quickly self-isolating those entering the country early, and when the country hit just 6 cases, she banned travellers entering entirely.
Taking to Instagram to mark the milestone, Ardern said: "I don't believe there is any other country that has had COVID, come into our position, and sustained it away from our borders for that period of time."
New Zealand has 23 active cases in managed isolation facilities, and 1,219 COVID-19 cases in all so far, as well as 22 deaths.
The news comes as Australia continues to battle its second wave of COVID cases, with Victoria currently in stage four lockdowns.
The state recorded 394 new cases on Sunday, August 9, down from 466 on the day prior, but it was the state's deadliest day with 17 deaths confirmed.
Currently, Australia has had 21,084 cases and as of yesterday, the country's death toll since the pandemic began stands at 295.