New Zealand Bans Entry of Indian Travellers Amid COVID-19 Surge

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New Zealand on Thursday temporarily suspended entry of all travellers from India, including its own citizens, for about two weeks following a surge in COVID-19 cases arriving from the South Asian country.

The move comes after New Zealand recorded 23 new positive cases of COVID-19 at its border on Thursday, of which 17 were from India.

In a news conference in Auckland, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, “We are temporarily suspending entry into New Zealand for travellers from India.”

India is battling a deadly second wave of COVID-19 with daily infections this week passing the peak of the first wave seen last September.

The suspension will start from 1600 local time on April 11 and will be in place until April 28. During this time the government will look at risk management measures to resume travel.

The Prime Minister said, “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.”

New Zealand has virtually eliminated the virus within its borders, and has not reported any community transmission locally for about 40 days, reported NDTV.

But it’s been reviewing its border settings as more people with infections arrive in New Zealand recently, majority being from India, the report stated.

Ardern said the rolling average of positive cases has been steadily rising and hit 7 cases on Wednesday, the highest since last October.

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.

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