08 Apr 2021: New Zealand suspends travel with India as COVID-19 cases rise
New Zealand has decided to suspend entry for all travelers from India as the latter is witnessing a spike in COVID-19 cases.
On Thursday, India saw a record single-day spike in coronavirus infections. India is now reporting more infections than any other country.
Travelers from India will be barred entry in New Zealand from 4 pm (local time) on April 11 to April 28.
Suspension: Suspension will apply to NZ citizens, too
Addressing a news conference in Wellington, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday, "We are temporarily suspending entry into New Zealand for travelers from India."
The suspension will apply to all travelers from India, including New Zealand's own citizens.
During this period of suspension, the island nation's government will look at risk management measures to resume travel.
Fact: Looking to manage high-risk points of departure generally: Ardern
Ardern said at the news conference, "I want to emphasize that while arrivals of COVID-19 from India have prompted this measure, we are looking at how we manage high-risk points of departure generally. This is not a country-specific risk assessment."
Reason: 17 of 23 imported cases today were from India
The move comes after New Zealand recorded 23 new positive coronavirus cases at its border on Thursday, out of which, 17 were from India.
Notably, New Zealand has virtually eliminated the coronavirus within its borders. It has not reported any instance of community transmission locally in the past 40 days.
The nation is reviewing border control as most cases are imported, especially from India.
Fact: 1 new locally infected case in NZ today
The rolling average of positive cases has been on a steady rise, reaching seven cases on Wednesday (the highest since last October). On Thursday, New Zealand also reported one new locally infected case, a 24-year-old worker at a coronavirus isolation facility.
Outbreak: India reported record 1.26 lakh new cases today
India on Thursday reported a record spike of 1,26,789 fresh cases and 685 new fatalities.
The total tally has risen to 1,29,28,574 COVID-19 cases, which includes 1,66,862 deaths, 9,10,319 active cases, and 1,18,51,393 recoveries.
Infections have been rising steadily since mid-February when daily new cases had dropped under 9,000.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a key meeting to review the situation on Thursday.