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Ethnic solidarity in combating the COVID-19 threat in New Zealand


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Ethnic Solidarity in Combating the COVID-19 Threat in New Zealand_L.S.Liu & G.J.Ran.pdf - Submitted Version

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In early 2020, when COVID-19 was tearing through China, it was hard to imagine that it would develop into a global pandemic so rapidly and reach New Zealand, a country geographically isolated from most of the world. After the first confirmed case on February 28, 2020, the spread of COVID-19 escalated rapidly with confirmed cases surpassing 1,000 in five weeks, most of them related to international travel. Nevertheless, with a progressive government response, the country took less than one-and-half months to halt COVID-19’s spread. On May 11, a seven-week nationwide lockdown was lifted following two consecutive days of zero new cases. To date, most domestic economic activities have resumed.
As of May 25, 2020, statistics suggest that New Zealand’s response to the pandemic is largely successful, as shown by the low confirmed and probable case numbers (1,504) and deaths (21), and the high rate of recovery (1,456) and testing (261,315).1 However, this positive result did not come easily. At the outset, the government’s response to this emerging public health crisis was relaxed and reluctant. This situation started to change during March as evidenced by the enforcement of much tougher border control measures and domestic orders. The specific turning point was 14 March, when the compulsory self-isolation policy for all international arrivals began to be enforced. Since then, New Zealand has been leading the COVID-19 response in Oceania. “Unite against COVID-19” was adopted as a widely used official slogan to combat the pandemic. The slogan implies the determination to unite people across the nation, including ethnic minorities, to eliminate the virus (Cousins, 2020). This essay discusses the driving force behind the changing discourse of the government’s response to the pandemic and the factors that led to its success.

Item Type: Journal article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ethnic relation, COVID-19, Aotearoa New Zealand, pandemic
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: Schools > Centre for Health & Social Practice
Depositing User: Jason Ran
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2021 23:10
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 09:20

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