New Zealand’s coronavirus lockdown has led to only one death in the country so far, data from Johns Hopkins University shows as of Tuesday morning.
New Zealand implemented a strict lockdown last month, beginning on March 25, set to last four weeks with a focus on eliminating the virus rather than containing it. Less than two weeks in, the number of new coronavirus cases per day has decreased two days in a row.
A total of 65 recoveries were confirmed on Tuesday, higher than the 54 reported new cases, The Washington Post reported. One person, an elderly woman with underlying health conditions, has died from the virus.
“The signs are promising,” Ashley Bloomfield, New Zealand’s director-general of health, said Tuesday, according to the Post.
The lack of deaths and decreasing new cases have prompted some to call for the government to loosen restrictions, but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has maintained the country will continue lockdown for two full 14-day incubation cycles.
Ardern announced the lockdown 48 hours ahead of time to prepare the country to stay at home except to exercise, to obtain essential items and to work if they are an essential worker. Swimming at the beach and hunting in bushland were also banned.
The number of new daily cases peaked at 89 on Thursday, with most cases involving international travel.
Some American experts are calling on President Trump to follow in Ardern’s footsteps and implement an elimination-focused plan to reduce the number of cases in the U.S., which has recorded the most of any country.
The prime minister is reportedly considering a mandatory quarantine for New Zealanders returning to the country.
New Zealand has documented 1,160 cases total, with 241 recoveries, according to the Johns Hopkins University data.