It became eighth nation to declare itself free of any active coronavirus case? So what it did successfully that many developed nations could not?

On Sunday at a news briefing in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Arden declared that New Zealand has successfully eliminated transmission of novel COVID19 and is ready to open its economy and day to day life without any restrictions. This wonderful news came at a time when still more than half of the world is still grappling with active cases of this pandemic disease including in nations like USA,UK, India, China, UAE etc. So what a small nation like New Zealand did which even giant economies could not able to do to contain this virus disease?

New Zealand is a country of Five million people. Although population is not large as to other countries including Australia yet the course of action its health ministry did is definitely commendable. It pursued an ‘Elimination Strategy’ to beat deadly coronavirus which means it eliminated ‘chains of transmission’ of virus among people successfully for 28 days since June 15.

Health experts are of the view that due to its isolated location in the South- Pacific region, New Zealand had ample amount of time to notice the outbreak of this disease in other countries and for seven weeks, it went on complete lockdown with movements allowed only for essential workers. During seven week lockdown there was no news of people violating any government restrictions that were put in place. All these factors successfully averted any chain reaction of virus among its people. Due to strict government action and active participation by its citizens, only 1500 people contracted the virus including 22 death.

However, New Zealand Prime Minister took note of the situation that from Tuesday all restrictions will be lifted except border closure restriction and that there is a possibility that incoming cases of coronavirus may be found in people entering into New Zealand via airways.

New Zealand became eighth country to join exclusive group of nations successfully ending active COVID19 cases according to Johns Hopkins University. Besides New Zealand, Montenegro, Eritrea, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Holy See, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Fiji, East Timor have either have successfully eliminated any active cases.

Developed and Developing economies must consider the policies adopted by these nations’s government in containing growing active cases in their countries and must implement it in their policies. These 8 countries can now look forward to accelerate their economy without any restriction and loss of life due to coronavirus whereas other nations who have lifted restrictions partially or completely are still at huge risk of losing lives and more spread of this pandemic disease.

“It’s time for big nation to learn from so called small nations”

USA’s withdrawal from WHO and impact on rest of the world

On Friday, US President Donald Trump announced that he is terminating US membership in World Health Organisation as he was not satisfied with the way this international organisation is handling China’s response to Coronavirus. In a press briefing he reiterated his commitment “ to withdraw financial contribution to WHO and redirect that funds to other urgent global public health needs”. 

The USA is major financial contributor to WHO providing almost $450 million a year followed by China who contributed almost one-third to what America contributes and this may be one of the reason why Trump took such stern action against WHO for not taking any significant step towards China to address the ongoing pandemic situation. USA till now lost more than one lakh citizens due to COVID19 and the overall global death figure is even worse. Entire world has to come up a with a vaccine to counter this virus disease. Many fear that even though some countries are successful in flattening curve of infected cases, yet the worst isn’t over and it may very well play havoc with change in climate conditions. Countries like USA, UK, India etc. haven’t seen peak in number of cases even though number of infected people are increasing day by day. Another factor which could have played significant role in Trump’s decision is economic recession the world is facing include USA too who has to shut off its manufacturing and other economic activities for almost two months while during that time, China started its business and production sector at fast pace. So it comes natural that Trump has justified his reason of holding its fund to WHO and accusing of biased response towards China.

 Some political pundits and health experts views Trump’s decision as short-sighted and one which would eventually put US citizens health at risk. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Chairman of the Senate Health , Education, Labor and Pensions Committee expressed his opinion in a statement that ‘Withdrawing U.S. membership could interfere with clinical trials that are essential to the development of vaccines which US citizens and others in the world needs’[1].

European Union and many Asian countries have urged President Trump to reconsider his decision of withdrawal of US membership from WHO as it was the USA who was the founding member of WHO and such decision will deeply affect economic contribution, research and development in global health sector. Whatever the future holds, it is too early to say anything on how USA’s withdrawal from WHO is going to affect global health services. But one thing can be said for sure is that the objective of Trump’s decision to pressurize China in taking responsibility for this pandemic situation is not going to bear any result and with such withdrawal USA has given golden platter to China to play dominant role with WHO member states.


Huge day for Space X


May 27th, 2020 is day of another history making at least when it comes events in outer space. Space X, one of the most profitable space company on earth collaborated in 2015 with NASA to launch two astronauts on Spacecraft designed and built by Space X known as Dragon 2. This spacecraft was in development since 2010 but was publicly revealed in 2013. Elon Musk promised from the start that Crew Dragon will be developed and assembled keeping in mind with most advanced technology.

It is truly 21st century spacecraft as inside the cockpit, all the switches, knobs and dials are all touchscreens according to Space X’s Director of crew mission management, Mr. Benji Reed. This Crew Dragon is a crewed spacecraft designed to fly astronauts to International Space Station . It is also different from other Space X’s spacecraft like Cargo Dragon as Crew Dragon has an emergency abort system designed to separate capsule from its rocket in the event of any launch emergency.

Today will be Space X’s first crewed space mission in history of outer space and private space company. It is also a historic moment for NASA and USA as almost after a decade, a crewed space mission will be launched to space from American soil.

UPDATE-: Launch is delayed due to bad weather. Next attempt by NASA and Space X to launch astronauts to International Space Station will be done on May 30th. Space X created history with the successful launch of Crew Dragon carrying two astronauts to International Space Station. With this launch, Space X became First private company to launch crewed mission to outer space and with this, the prospect of space tourism has come into fruition.






Human from time immemorial has always been curious to know life beyond earth. In the quest to find life and resources outside earth,initially USA and USSR (Presently Russia) sent many unscrewed and crewed mission to moon and beyond and in space. After that, many countries joined elite league to mark their presence in space. Many historic moments were created by various space agency but USA Space Agency NASA’s achievement is one that is truly been inspiring and commendable. It is one of the leading space agency globally who has successfully established USA’s dominant status in outer space and one which many countries aspire to achieve from its space program. NASA’s Artemis mission is one such lunar program which many people have eye on its success and curiosity as to its mission.


Through Artemis lunar program, NASA is committed to land its astronauts on lunar surface once again after historic Apollo 11 mission in 1969. This time it is planning to land one woman and one male astronaut thus promoting gender equality in its space program.

The name ‘Artemis’ come from Greek mythology and has close connection with Apollo. Artemis was twin sister of Apollo, thus one can assume that’s why NASA’s second manned lunar mission is named as Artemis. This lunar mission program’s uniqueness lies in the fact that this is the first lunar mission where NASA is actively working with huge space companies like Space X, Blue Origin and Dynetics who are responsible to build human landing systems. Space X has been awarded contract to built a fully integrated Lander known as Starship that will use Space X’s super heavy rocket. Blue Origin is in process of developing the Integrated Lander Vehicle to be launched in its own New Glenn Rocket System and ULA Vulcan launch system while Dynetics is developing single structure human landing system to be launched on Vulcan launch system.[1]

NASA Artemis program consist of two phase. In the first phase known as Artemis I, NASA will test its own powerful rocket, Space launch system and spacecraft Orion. It will be unscrewed flight mission and will be launched in 2021. In its second  phase 2 known as Artemis II, the SLS and Orion will carry crewed mission. In its final and ultimate phase, Artemis III, NASA will land astronauts in 2024. NASA’s Artemis lunar mission is in line with its crewed Mars Mission set to be launch by 2028.


Recently, NASA announced ‘Artemis Accords’ which are guidelines to be followed by not just USA but every contracting nation who is and will be involved with NASA in its Artemis mission which is an international collaboration. The intent behind such accord is to prove that NASA is carrying out lunar mission well within the ambit of Outer Space Treaty, 1967(OST) and is not violating any principle and provision of it.

However it is too soon to comment on whether OST is being violated by NASA or not? Artemis Accord will be bilateral agreement meaning that any international agency will enter into bilateral agreement with NASA and execute it to create more transparent environment for space exploration, commercial and research activities in outer space to ensure that their mission is for the benefit of humankind and for their development.[2] As per any bilateral agreement related to Artemis program, the participating space agencies will share the information on their space exploration plans and make their scientific data available to NASA including any activity related to space mining. One of the purposes of including space mining in its accord is to show to the world that NASA’s space mining activity is being carrying out keeping in mind provisions of Articles II, VI and XI of OST, 1967. As per Article II, outer space in not subject to any claim by any nation by means of occupation. Article VI deals with international responsibility to be borne by state party for its activities in outer space and any state party in order to carry out any space activity shall inform of it to UN Secretary- General, Scientific community and to public to ensure transparency as per Article XI.


While NASA claims to abide itself by OST, still there are certain doubts about it especially when it comes to space mining activity. Any resources find and explore by government and non-government organization will always have upper hand over its commercial use. OST talks about non-ownership by any entity yet reality will always be different. However, its just an assumption and will have wait and see how US non-governmental players abide by OST.

There is no doubt that US Space Agency’s  ‘Artemis lunar mission’ will prove to be a breakthrough in demonstrating new technologies needed for future Mars exploration and establishing US as outer space leader  .



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