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New Zealand is cautiously re-opening the pathway home for travelers coming from India, after introducing a ban earlier this month. The rule changes allow a dramatically-reduced flow of arrivals from a new category of “very high risk” countries. India, Brazil, Papua New Guinea, and Pakistan are currently in that category.
Arrivals from those countries are restricted to New Zealand citizens and their parents, children, and partners – as opposed to other countries, where New Zealand has taken arrivals who are permanent residents or on “essential worker” visas.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said that “from India alone, this is expected to reduce the number of potential positive cases coming to New Zealand by an estimated 75%.” Hipkins said it would be possible to apply for exceptions on humanitarian grounds.
“I want to stress this was not an easy decision. It was based entirely on current risk assessment and will be reviewed regularly,” he said.
New Zealand temporarily closed the border to all arrivals from India, including citizens, after surging case numbers in the country. The outbreak in India is still out of control, with 1.6 million cases reported in a week, and health systems collapsing.
The New Zealand government is also introducing a new “cohorting” system to hold groups of arrivals together and keep Managed Isolation and Quarantine facilities empty for cleaning between cohorts, rather than accepting rolling groups of arrivals.
Countries have been designated ‘very high risk’ if there have been more than 50 Covid-positive cases per 1000 arrivals to New Zealand in 2021.
In more Australian news, the country is set to host the first human clinical trial of a genetically modified adenovirus vaccine for Covid-19 delivered via nasal spray.
Avance Clinical, an Australian contract research organisation, has applied to the office of the gene technology regulator for permission to conduct the phase 1 clinical trial on behalf US company Tetherex Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
The trial from June to September proposes using genetic modification to prevent the virus multiplying and insert a gene encoding the Sars-Cov-2 spike protein to help people produce antibodies against Covid-19:
Japan faces new virus emergencies, three months before Olympics
India reports world record cases for second day
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Coronavirus live news: India reports world record cases for second day; Japan to declare emergency measures | World news