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New Zealand suspends entry of travelers from India due to high Covid-19 cases | India News


NEW DELHI: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Thursday a temporary ban on travelers from India starting April 11 due to the massive increase in Covid-19 cases, Reuters news agency reported.
The entry suspension for all travelers, including New Zealand citizens themselves, begins at 4 pm local time on April 11 and will run until April 28, the New Zealand prime minister was quoted as saying by the agency.
“We are temporarily suspending entry to New Zealand for travelers from India,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a news conference in Auckland.
The move comes after New Zealand recorded 23 new positive coronavirus cases on its border on Thursday, of which 17 were from India. During this time, the government will consider risk management measures to resume travel, he added.
“I want to emphasize that while Covid arrivals from India have driven this measure, we are looking at how we handle high-risk entry points in general. This is not a country-specific risk assessment …” Ardern said.
While the country has virtually eliminated transmission of the virus within its border areas, New Zealand has not reported any community transmission locally for about 40 days.
However, the country’s Covid count hit 7 on Wednesday, the highest since last October. The increase in the moving average of positive cases has caused the country to review its border configuration, with the majority being from India.
New Zealand also reported on Thursday a new case of local infection in a worker working in an isolation facility run by coronavirus. The 24-year-old had not yet been vaccinated.
The temporary ban comes at a time when India has been reporting more than 100,00 cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) daily for the past three days. Following the massive increase in cases in India, several states have imposed travel restrictions and forced passengers to bring a negative Covid-19 report when crossing borders.
The government has accelerated the vaccination process across the country to immunize more and more people against the virus. Currently, all people 45 years of age and older are eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi received his second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the Indian Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.
(With input from Reuters)

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