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LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 105-106  

Should New Zealand be really enthusiastic about zero cases in the middle of a pandemic: A thought


1 Department of Microbiology, Dr. DY Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Center, Dr. DY Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Manipal Institute of Virology, Manipal Institute of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission30-Sep-2020
Date of Decision06-Oct-2020
Date of Acceptance09-Oct-2020
Date of Web Publication22-Jan-2021

Correspondence Address:
Shahzad Mirza
Department of Microbiology, Dr. DY Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Center, Dr. DY Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri, Pune - 411 018, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_552_20

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How to cite this article:
Das NK, Bhatt P, Khan S, Mirza S. Should New Zealand be really enthusiastic about zero cases in the middle of a pandemic: A thought. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2021;14:105-6

How to cite this URL:
Das NK, Bhatt P, Khan S, Mirza S. Should New Zealand be really enthusiastic about zero cases in the middle of a pandemic: A thought. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Mar 9];14:105-6. Available from: https://www.mjdrdypv.org/text.asp?2021/14/1/105/307687



Dear Sir,

There is hardly any country which has not been hit by this pandemic of COVID-19. In a very short span of time, this pandemic has spread across the world like wildfire. Such quick spread may be due to the ease of human movement across the globe due to air travel and trade.[1] Amidst this crisis, the Covid-19 case count of each country is now being recorded real time due to advancements in information and technology. Countries are ranked in COVID-19 by the electronic and print media in terms of casualty and number of total cases as if it is a sports medal tally. However, it is a dubious list and it is not flattering to be mentioned at the top of this tally.

In the middle of this pandemic, it caused quite a flutter when New Zealand declared that they have no active cases On June 8, 2020 New Zealand declared that they have no active cases of Covid-19 Whereas at this very moment rest of the world was finding it difficult to control the increasing cases.[2] Although the efforts need to be lauded, is it actually a blessing in the long run?

Our point is, New Zealand is an island nation and cuts off from the rest of the world geographically due to an oceanic barrier. The total population as well as the population density is very less. Say, it can be compared to a state like Tripura in India.[3] In such scenario, it is relatively easier to control an outbreak as compared to a bigger country.

The COVID-19 pandemic is becoming difficult to control. With reports about the short duration of immunity it provides, reinfections, no proven effective vaccine yet, and presence of number of strains of the organism in circulation, we don't know what is in store for us in times to come.[4],[5]

The COVID-19 may also become endemic in future like four other already endemic Coronaviruses which cause common cold. The infections may also get milder as the virus spread continues and the human bodies get adapted to it.[6]

With most countries getting hugely impacted, they will develop some sort of herd immunity to it most of the population of New Zealand may remain naïve to this virus. The country will always have to remain in high vigil when the travel opens up in a full-fledged manner. The diagnostic tests used for detection of COVID-19 are associated with many a false-negative results, which may again expose the native population of infected people. Furthermore, anyone who travels from New Zealand to outside may continue to be remain as vulnerable.[7] Hence, it remains to be seen, if New Zealand is actually at an advantageous position or not. An analogy can be drawn from the state of Kerala, city of Agra and the country like Singapore. All three had initial success in containment of Covid-19. The success was celebrated and the models were copied. But all three had resurgent cases of Covid-19 after the initial success. It emphasizes that there is no ideal model and we should not celebrate prematurely. Containment of humans may be easy but not the virus. We have to be on guard every time as a false sense of security may mean more casualities. [8],[9]

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Lau H, Khosrawipour V, Kocbach P, Mikolajczyk A, Ichii H, Zacharski M, et al. The association between international and domestic air traffic and the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2020;53:467-72.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
New Zealand: with zero active cases, PM Jachinda Ardern lifts Covid-19 restrictions ; declares nation 'Corona free'. Available from https://www.dnaindia.com/world/report-new-zealand-with-zero-active-cases-pm-jacinda-ardern-lifts-covid-19-restrictions-declares-nation-corona-free-2827234. [Last assessed on 13.11.2020].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
AWhy its unjust to compare New Zealand's Covid recovery with the viral spread in India. Available from https://english.jagran.com/india/why-its-unjust-to-compare-new-zealands-covid-recovery-with-the-viral-spread-in-india-10012721. [Last assessed on 13.11.2020].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Covid research updates: The mystery of one nations's low Covid death toll. Available from https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00502-w. [Last assessed on 13.11.2020].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Sample I. Why we may not get a Coronavirus vaccine. Available from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/22/why-we-might-not-get-a-coronavirus-vaccine.[Last assessed on 13.11.2020].  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Wan W, Johnson CY. Coronavirus may never go away, even with a vaccine. Available from https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/27/coronavirus-endemic/. [Last assessed on 13.11.2020].  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Kelly JC, Dombrowksi M, O'Neil-Callahan M, Kernberg AS, Frolova AI, Stout MJ. False-negative testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2: Consideration in obstetrical care. Am J Obstet Gynecol MFM 2020;2:100130.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
India coronavirus: Why celebrating Covid-19 'Success models' is dangerous. Available from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-52527534. [Last assessed on 9.10.2020].  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Maya C. What went wrong in containing COVID-19 spread in Kerela. Available from https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/what-went-wrong-in-containing-covid-19-spread-in-kerala/article32234289.ece. [Last assessed on 9.10.2020].  Back to cited text no. 9
    




 

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