When Jacinda Ardern took oath, she became the youngest world leader at the age of 37. However, her youth should not be mistaken for inexperience, as New Zealand became the first country to not record any coronavirus transmission for 100 days. Even though New Zealand is geographically isolated with the rest of the world, Coronavirus was expected to be hit just as hard as the Western World, due to the number of travellers who come to New Zealand. It was expected that New Zealand’s Healthcare system would take an unabated hit. However the Jacinda Ardern led plan focused on not suppressing cases, however eliminating the virus in its entirety.
New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern
The plan was undertaken swiftly as New Zealand prepared hospitals for a surge in cases, as well as imposing a travel ban in February. The elimination strategy, rather than a mitigation strategy dictated a stringent Countrywide lock-down in Mid-March, when the country had only 100 Coronavirus positive cases. The strategy fared excellently as in early May, the last known Covid-19 patient was identified and subsequently placed in isolation.
The bold initiative by her has not only led to International Appraise, but a huge boost in domestic approval ratings, ahead of New Zealand’s general elections. Michael Baker, an epidemiologist from the University of Otago stated “It was good science and great political leadership that made the difference”.
The World is now looking to New Zealand, and Jacinda Ardern is Leading the Charge. Her pro-activeness following the Christchurch shooting, banning all Military Style Guns and her progressiveness regarding Climate Change has built a resume, many world leaders can’t boast about. The achievement also contrasts the nature of the more well-equipped nations, as Professor Baker exclaimed “The whole Western World has mismanaged the pandemic, and they are realising it now”.
After it's all said and done, the pandemic has caused some damage as New Zealand has recorded a 4% Unemployment Rate. However, in contrast to the US, which has an 11% Unemployment Rate as well as the 6.7% unemployment rate of the European Union, New Zealand has done great, considering such nations can afford mass economic stimulus packages, whereas New Zealand cannot.
Notable Praise should also go to the fact that New Zealand curbed the disproportionate effect of various New Zealand groups such as the Maori’s. As countries grappling with varied transmission and mortality rates in different ethnicities and races, Jacinda Ardern has thought and cared for all. New Zealand has laid the blueprint, it is now the imperative of other countries to follow it.