Zero cases - the lessons from New Zealand

A CSAR COVID-19 Question and Answer session. Note the non-standard day and time!

  • Wed 17th Jun 2020

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New Zealand has lifted almost all of its coronavirus restrictions after reporting no active cases in the country. The country first went into lockdown on 25 March, setting up a new four-stage alert system and going in at level four, where most businesses were shut, schools closed and people told to stay at home. The move to level one comes ahead of time - the government had originally planned to make the move on 22 June, but it was brought forward after no new cases were reported for 17 days.

What were the crucial elements of this success, and what lessons can be learned?

Professor Michael Baker, Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand.

Michael Baker is a public health physician and Professor of Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington. He is a highly respected authority on infectious diseases epidemiology and environmental health. His research won the New Zealand Health Research Council's top award, the Liley Medal, in 2013 and his Housing and Health Research Group received the Prime Minister's Science prize in 2014.
Professor Baker has worked internationally with the World Health Organisation and his research is part-funded by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Attending lectures

Full video

Further resources

Professor Baker can be heard on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, on 10th June 2020, starting at 06:48

A recent piece published in the Guardian signalling the end of Covid-19 transmission in NZ:

A piece published in the Guardian on 10 April which I think gives the most concise description of the elimination approach here:

A discussion of the elimination definition:

A description of this approach published as an editorial in NZMJ:

A piece in the Lancet:

An article in the NY Times (subscription required):

A feature published on NZ's elimination strategy: