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Last Updated : Oct 26, 2020 10:33 PM IST | Source:

With less than 100 active COVID-19 cases, New Zealand is one of few countries allowing concerts

With a population of around 5 million, New Zealand has till October 26 reported less than 1,600 cases of coronavirus and 25 deaths.

New Zealand has successfully controlled the spread of coronavirus and is now hosting music concerts, a distant reality for most countries facing the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Zealand is one of the few places in the world where musicians are touring amid the coronavirus pandemic. The country has been praised for successfully curbing community spread of the virus.


Weeks after New Zealand reported its first COVID-19 case, Prime Minister Jacinda Arden imposed a lockdown and closed its borders to travellers. A mandatory quarantine was also instituted for all returning residents.

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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

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There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

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Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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With a population of around 5 million, New Zealand has till October 26 reported less than 1,600 cases of coronavirus and 25 deaths. Only 5 cases were reported in the last 24 hours, according to health ministry data.

Elizabeth Stokes and Jonathan Pearce, a part of New Zealand indie-rock band Beths, are presently in Raglan, a small surf town on the west coast of the country’s north island to promote their new album Jump Rope Gazers.

Speaking to the Washington Post, Stokes said, "There’s a new appreciation, a sense of gratitude. To be playing live again is nerve-racking. But it feels great.”

TikTok star Benee also recently wrapped a tour. She performed in the presence of 12,000 people in Spark Arena in Auckland.

New Zealand currently has zero community cases of COVID-19, and there are no restrictions on mass gatherings. Moreover, social distancing or masks are encouraged but not mandatory in public places.

By the end of their current tour, the Beths will play 17 shows in their home country. Recalling his experience of playing in the US, Pearce said, "Playing in the USA especially is good for our band. Financially it’s been a huge hit.”

In addition to music concerts, New Zealand’s mass events and festivals, including major parties — Rhythm and Vines, Bay Dreams, Northern Bass — will be held, as per the report.

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First Published on Oct 26, 2020 04:24 pm