What is Go for Zero policy?

Context in Current Affairs: The “Go for Zero” policy of Australia helped the country to bring down its COVID-19 cases.

About Go for Zero Policy of Australia

The Go for zero policy of Australia was proposed by a non-profit think tank Grattan Institute that advises the government. Under the policy besides expanding the testing of covid-19, Australia also increased contact tracing and mandatory isolation. The government had introduced a QR code-based system to tackle the issue of travellers breaking quarantines. This system helped to track the related person. Certain states of Australia such as Victoria even deployed police to carry out spot checks of people instructed to be in isolation.

Hot hotels or health hotels were established. These hotels set up for symptomatic travellers. This prevented emergence of clusters.

Australia under the policy also supported workers and businesses. Subsidies are provided to forms to keep people employed and also increased unemployment benefits. As the cases of covid-19 began to decrease in the month of September, Australia lifted the lockdown in a tiered manner.

Now schools and businesses have been reopened in Australia. Also, funerals, weddings and religious gatherings have been allowed to go ahead with bigger attendances.

Background

In the past week Australia has reported just 10 cases everyday. The decrease has been evidently noticed in the state of Victoria which is the second most populous state of the country. Earlier in August 2020 Victoria witnessed 700 daily infections according to Johns Hopkins University. Also, after October 27, 2020 Australia reported only one covid-19 related death. Out of 28000 infections reported in the country only 44 are currently active.

During the second wave of covid-19 Australia followed the strategy of eliminating the virus rather than just pulling down the case numbers. Australia achieved 20 numbers mainly because of go for zero policy.

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