Almost a year and a half into the coronavirus pandemic, there seems to be no end to the misery and suffering that it has inflicted upon people and livelihoods.
And while India is still battling a massive second wave, there are some countries that have emerged from the shadows of the virus.
To begin with, Bloomberg reported that England recorded zero COVID deaths on May 9 for the first time in 14 months. In fact, on May 10, the country's health chiefs agreed to lower the country's COVID alert level from four to three.
This is an indication that coronavirus transmissions are no longer rising exponentially. Last week, the government's outgoing vaccine task force chief Clive Dix said that the virus will no longer be circulating in the country by August.
The outbreak in the UK was particularly severe due to the circulation of the B.1.1.7 variant. In fact, it was even dubbed 'Plague Island'. Christmas was cancelled, the government imposed harsher restrictions, and many countries restricted UK-origin flights.
However, things seem to have turned around for the country, and the government is slowly easing restrictions. Starting May 17, indoor dining will resume in restaurants and pubs in England. It has vaccinated more than half of its population. Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently tweeted about the vaccination drive in the country. So far, around 127,605 people have died in the United Kingdom of the virus.
Recently, the country revealed a green travel list for people in England, meaning anyone returning will not need to quarantine from 17 May. A new traffic light system of rules means international travel will no longer be illegal. The UK's handling of the situation is noteworthy.
Among all nations in the world, New Zealand is perhaps the poster child for how to deal with a crisis. The country and especially Prime Minister Jacinda Arden's efforts in handling the crisis has been lauded right from the start of the crisis. It was quick to seal its borders and will not reopen anytime soon.
Following second outbreak in August last year, New Zealand was able to control the outbreak through a targeted lockdown of Auckland. Having reopened the economy in June, the country did return to a heightened alert level in August, but it has since returned to a vigilant but full opening.
Throughout the crisis, New Zealand has continued to build its capacity for testing and contact tracing. Coupled with tight quarantines for returning New Zealanders, this has helped the country control the virus to a great extent.
So far, the country has recorded about 26,000 cases and 26 deaths since the pandemic began, reports LiveMint. In fact, last month, more than 50,000 people attended a concert at New Zealand's largest sports stadium which organisers said was the largest live music event since the start of the pandemic.
Around 50,000 people attended the event where no social distancing and mask-wearing rule was imposed.