New Zealand’s ‘elimination strategy’ against COVID-19, a working model for other countries, including the U.S.

Siti Hajerah, Reporter

According to the The New Zealand Medical Journal, the elimination strategy for COVID-19 covers several essential elements, including:

1. Border controls with high-quality quarantine of incoming travelers;

2. Rapid case detection identified by widespread testing, followed by rapid case isolation, with swift contact tracing and quarantine for contacts;

3. Intensive hygiene promotion (cough etiquette and hand washing) and provision of hand hygiene facilities in public settings;

4. Intensive physical distancing, currently implemented as a lockdown (level 4 alert) that includes school and workplace closure, movement and travel restrictions, and stringent measures to reduce contact in public spaces, with potential to relax these measures if elimination is working;

5. A well-coordinated and consistent communication strategy to inform the public about control measures and about what to do if they become unwell, and to reinforce important health promotion messages.