New Zealand closes borders to new arrivals over ‘unprecedented’ Omicron risk

19/1/2022 12:30:00 PM

The country's borders will be closed for an indeterminate time to citizens without an existing booking.

New Zealand, Omicron

The country's borders will be closed for an indeterminate time to citizens without an existing booking.

New Zealand closes borders to new arrivals over ‘unprecedented’ Omicron risk. Citizens blocked from returning home after minister Chris Hipkins halts release of space in quarantine rooms, saying facilities are under ‘extreme pressure’

19 January 2022, 1:32 am·4-min readPhotograph: ReutersNew Zealand has temporarily cut off the only pathway home for overseas citizens and visa holders, citing the risk of the Omicron variant.Officials announced on Tuesday evening that new spaces in the country’s managed isolation and quarantine system (MIQ) would not be released.

The Covid-19 response minister, Chris Hipkins, said on Wednesday that while the pause was “temporary” there was no date for when spaces would again be available – meaning New Zealand’s border would be closed for an indeterminate time to citizens without an existing booking. “Pausing the next MIQ lobby is a temporary position while MIQ is under extreme pressure from New Zealanders returning with Omicron,” he said.

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1,448 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore; 589 Omicron infections confirmedSINGAPORE — Singapore reported 1,448 new Covid-19 cases as of noon on Tuesday (Jan 18), comprising 990 local infections and 458 imported ones. Possibly 3k to 5k by the time we reached CNY

1,448 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore; 589 Omicron infections confirmedSINGAPORE: Singapore reported 1,448 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Tuesday (Jan 18), comprising 990 local infections and 458 imported ones. There were no fatalities, according to the latest infection statistics on the Ministry of Health\u0027s (MOH) Omg but still not lockdown because CNY coming Yet they have been richly paid in millions for such outcomes

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1,165 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore; Omicron cases downSee I told y'all it'll pass all vaccinated 💉 💉 💉 🖕🖕🖕

1,165 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore; 609 Omicron infections confirmedSINGAPORE — Singapore reported 1,165 new Covid-19 cases as of noon on Monday (Jan 17), including 534 imported infections. VTL did a very good job to bring vaccinated people carrying omicron! Then Omicron is Successfully spread to community as its carriers do not need to serve quarantine!

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Read full article 19 January 2022, 1:32 am · 4-min read Photograph: Reuters New Zealand has temporarily cut off the only pathway home for overseas citizens and visa holders, citing the risk of the Omicron variant.There were no fatalities, according to the latest infection statistics on the Ministry of Health's (MOH) .SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 1,448 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Tuesday (Jan 18), comprising 990 local infections and 458 imported ones.reported on Sunday .

Officials announced on Tuesday evening that new spaces in the country’s managed isolation and quarantine system (MIQ) would not be released. The Covid-19 response minister, Chris Hipkins, said on Wednesday that while the pause was “temporary” there was no date for when spaces would again be available – meaning New Zealand’s border would be closed for an indeterminate time to citizens without an existing booking. Tuesday's case count is up from the 1,165 reported on Monday. “Pausing the next MIQ lobby is a temporary position while MIQ is under extreme pressure from New Zealanders returning with Omicron,” he said. Tuesday's case count is up from the 1,165 reported on Monday . Related: New Zealand not prepared for Omicron outbreak expected in ‘matter of weeks’, experts warn “No decisions have been made on the date, sequence and conditions for the border reopening and cabinet will consider options within the next couple of weeks based on the most up to date advice.76, up from Monday's 1. Until then, we are not in a position to release more MIQ rooms. The weekly infection growth rate on Monday was 1.

” The MIQ head, Chris Bunny, said there had been an “unprecedented number of Omicron cases coming into New Zealand and MIQ”, with a tenfold increase in cases at the border compared with December, and a seven day rolling average of 33. A figure above 1 means that the number of new weekly cases is rising.60. On Wednesday, New Zealand recorded 24 new cases in the community. One of those cases has been confirmed as Omicron, a household contact of an MIQ worker. This is presented as a separate set of data from the daily Covid-19 cases. Separately, an airport worker tested positive on Wednesday. This is presented as a separate set of data from the daily COVID-19 cases. New Zealand’s tough border restrictions have been crucial to its avoiding an Omicron outbreak and keeping Covid cases extremely low – but they are also a source of increasing heartache and rage for those who have found themselves locked out, often in extremely difficult personal circumstances. HOSPITALISATIONS AND VACCINATIONS There are 247 patients in hospital, with 16 requiring oxygen supplementation. As of Monday, Singapore has recorded 293,014 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

Other than the risky path of chartering a boat across the Tasman sea , securing a spot in MIQ is the only way into New Zealand. Competition for the rooms, which are released via a lottery system, is fierce. As of Monday, 91 per cent of Singapore's eligible population have completed their full vaccination regimen under the national vaccination programme. Thirteen patients are in the intensive care unit. At the last release in early January, a queue of 16,000 people were vying to book one of 1,250 available rooms. Story continues For those stranded overseas, the cancellation of future releases was distressing. About 53 per cent of the total population have received their vaccine booster shots. Maxine Strydom, a member of Grounded Kiwis, which advocates for stranded New Zealanders, said she was stuck in Perth with her two children, and had been unable to secure a spot, despite her job and tenancy in Australia ending.

“All of us stranded overseas are affected. We’re all going through mental and emotional stress,” she said. “Soon I’m going to have no money, no house, and no help in a foreign country.” Claire, a New Zealander in San Diego, said: “I feel like every shred of hope has been stripped away … There is no end in sight, it’s just demoralising.” Claire asked to be referred to by first name only amid concerns about criticism by fellow New Zealanders, .