New Zealand suspends entry for travellers from India due to high Covid-19 cases

4 days ago 27
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NEW DELHI: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Thursday announced a temporary ban on travellers from India starting April 11 due to the massive increase in Covid-19 cases, news agency Reuters reported.
The suspension of entry for all travellers, including New Zealand’s own citizens, begins from 4pm local time on April 11 and will be in place until April 28, the New Zealand PM was quoted as saying by the agency.
"We are temporarily suspending entry into New Zealand for travellers from India," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a news conference in Auckland.
The move comes after New Zealand recorded 23 new positive coronavirus cases at its border on Thursday, of which 17 were from India. During this time the government will look at risk management measures to resume travel, she added.
"I want to emphasize that while arrivals of Covid from India has prompted this measure, we are looking at how we manage high risk points of departure generally. This is not a country specific risk assessment...," Ardern said.
While the country has virtually eliminated the virus transmission within its border areas, New Zealand has not reported any community transmission locally for about 40 days.
However, the country's Covid tally touched 7 on Wednesday, the highest since last October. The rise in rolling average of positive cases has made the country review its border settings, majority being from India.
New Zealand on Thursday also reported one new locally infected case in a worker who was employed at a coronavirus managed isolation facility. The 24-year-old was yet to be vaccinated.
The temporary ban comes at a time when India has been reporting over 100,00 cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) daily for the past three days. Following the massive surge in cases in India, several states have imposed restrictions on travelling and have made it compulsory for passengers to carry a negative Covid-19 report while crossing borders.
The government has speeded up the process of vaccination across the country to immunise more and more people against the virus. At present, everyone aged 45 years or above is eligible to get the Covid-19 vaccine.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi received his second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.
(With inputs from Reuters)

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