New Zealand has launched an extensive investigation into whether it made the correct decisions in combating COVID-19 and how it can better prepare for future pandemics.
The coronavirus, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday, was the greatest threat to the nation’s health and economy since World War II. She stated that the time had come to conduct the most thorough independent investigation into the government’s response.
Among the questions will be whether or not New Zealand took the right approach initially by imposing strict lockdowns and border quarantine restrictions in order to try and wipe out the virus entirely.
That zero-tolerance strategy was initially hailed internationally as a success because New Zealand’s death rate remained much lower than in most other countries and people were able to continue life much as normal.
But over time, the downsides of the elimination approach came into clearer focus as the economic and social costs rose. Some citizens faced big delays returning home due to a bottleneck at border quarantine facilities.