New Zealand has achieved the lowest death rate in the OECD from the COVID-19 pandemic, equivalent to around 2000 lives and 32,000 life-years saved compared against the OECD average, say researchers at the University of Otago.
With regard to economic harm, New Zealand appears to be close to the OECD average, with the IMF predictions for GDP in 2020 overall being -6.1% for NZ and -6.3% for the OECD.
Nevertheless, a fuller accounting of health, economic and equity impacts probably needs to wait until vaccination is sufficiently available and border restrictions are lifted.
Despite New Zealand’s health success, there is still a need to improve border controls (eg, with a ‘traffic light’ system), until the population is protected by vaccination.
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