New Zealand people

New Zealand drops 'COVID zero' goal after Delta outbreak

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern admitted on Oct. 4 that New Zealand's widely praised "COVID zero" strategy had failed to halt a stubborn outbreak in Auckland and said a new approach was needed.

The hardline elimination policy had largely protected the country from the pandemic, with residents enjoying a near-normal domestic life alongside tight restrictions on international borders.

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According to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, this goal was achieved out of ambition, but also out of fear, because even at the beginning of the pandemic, it was concluded that the health system would not be able to cope with the progressive epidemic, the AP reported.

Countries tighten rules as world coronavirus deaths pass 750,000

The total number of people killed by the novel coronavirus around the world passed 750,000 on Aug. 13, with some countries toughening control measures as caseloads once again creep up.    

Latin America and the Caribbean region remains the global epicenter, accounting for almost one-third of all deaths and housing two of the worst-affected countries - Mexico and Brazil.