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Source: University of Canterbury – statements

Michael Plank, University of Canterbury; Alex James, University of Canterbury; Audrey Lustig, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research; Nicholas Steyn; Rachelle Binny, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, and Shaun Hendy

There is now a 95% chance COVID-19 has been eliminated in New Zealand, according to our modelling, based on official Ministry of Health data.

As of June 4, New Zealand has had 20 consecutive days of zero new cases, with only one active case remaining. The last new reported case of COVID-19 was on May 15 (going by the date the case was first suspected rather than later confirmed).

Probability of elimination assuming no new cases reported after 15 May.

This still leaves a small chance of undetected cases, and we know that COVID-19 is passed on at superspreading events.

New Zealand is now preparing to relax its COVID-19 restrictions to alert level 1 from as early as next Wednesday, which would end physical distancing and size restrictions on gatherings. But our modelling suggests removing limits on large gatherings will increase the risk of a very large new outbreak from 3% to 8%.

To reduce this risk, New Zealanders will need to continue avoiding the

MIL OSI