When scientists in Auckland began modelling an outbreak of Covid-19 in the city’s densely populated southern regions – situated right by the country’s only international airport – they hoped they were participating in a drill scenario.
“This is exactly the type of outbreak we were worried about, and in fact it’s exactly what happened,” said Professor Shaun Hendy, who works modelling the progression of the disease for the government.
“We’ve been looking at different ways it [coronavirus] could come back and they’re all low-likelihood ways, but this was very much one of the scenarios we considered. For a while we were hoping it was a drill.”
Just last week New Zealand celebrated a significant milestone: 100 days free of the deadly disease, which has claimed 800,000 lives worldwide and 22 in New Zealand.
But as the seemingly successful elimination strategy was being lauded, both domestically and overseas, the virus was stealthily circulating through the…