New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: As New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ‘danced a little’ when told that country's last active COVID patient had also managed to recover, the world heaved a sigh at the prospect of COVID eradication. All 1,504 coronavirus patients have recovered in the small South-Pacific nation, with fatality count limited to 22. The victory of Kiwis over coronavirus has been garnering praises worldwide, however, there are many reasons that New Zealand's efforts to contain the viral spread cannot yield simultaneous results elsewhere, especially in the densely populated countries like India. Here's why:

Population: All of New Zealand is comprised of just 4.8 million people, which is less than one-fourth of the Indian megacities Mumbai or Delhi. At the granular level in terms of population, New Zealand is comparable with the North-eastern state of Tripura, which according to the data available on Ministry of Health and Family Welfare's website, has so-far recorded 800 cases with zero fatality count. Even a state fifty per cent bigger in terms of population of New Zealand, the hilly state of Himachal Pradesh, so-far has recorded just 413 coronavirus cases with five deaths in total.

Population density: The latest COVID outbreaks in the past few weeks have been recorded from the places where population density is relatively higher. For instance, COVID control in Dharavi has kept the authorities in Mumbai on their toes, with the dense slum-area continuing to be in the red zone. New Zealand has a total population density of 14 people per square km. Its most densely populated cities, capital Wellington has a population density of 900 per square km, while that of Auckland is little over 1200 square km. India in comparison has the population density of 464 per square km, which is over thirty-three times more densely populated than New Zealand. The capital Delhi, however, has the population density of over 29,000 per square kilometre and Mumbai over 32,000 people per square kilometre, which is over 32 and 26 times denser than Wellington and Auckland respectively.

An Indian megacity which has controlled COVID better than New Zealand:

According to the Flight Connection website, the south Indian megacity of Bengaluru in pre-COVID times had to cater to over 81 destinations in 20 countries through its airport every day. In comparison, although New Zealand's airports in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch would cater twice as many international flights as Bengaluru, however, almost half of them were supposed to be destined to cities in Australia and least-populated Island nations in Pacific and Caribbean. Implying, just the city Bengaluru had had far more vulnerable international travellers when compared to the whole of New Zealand.

With close to 17,000 people residing per square kilometre, with a population of 125 million (over 150 per cent greater than New Zealand), the city of Bengaluru has so-far recorded 452 Coronavirus cases of which 162 are active and just 14 deaths. The state of Karnataka, having so-far conducted close to 4 lakh tests, has started to gradually report many districts COVID free.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma