Thursday, September 23, 2021

New Zealand’s largest city remains in strict lockdown

New Zealand’s prime minister announced on Monday that the country’s largest city, with a population of 1.7 million, will remain in a strict lockdown in an effort to contain small outbreaks of the highly contagious delta version of the coronavirus.

“It is clear that there is not widespread transmission of the virus in Auckland,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, “but while we have new cases emerging, there are risks,” she told a news conference.

Auckland’s lockdown has been extended until 21 September, with 33 new cases reported on Monday, after a weekend report of 23 and 20 cases.

New Zealand went into a nationwide snap lockdown on 17 August. Some restrictions, allowing people to return to offices and schools, were lifted last week elsewhere in New Zealand.

Israel was warned that Israeli travelers who went to the Ukrainian city of Uman for Rosh Hashanah celebrations and re-entered Israel with fake negative COVID test results would face full criminal charges.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office said in a statement: “The Israeli government takes very seriously the case of patients entering Israel by misappropriating documents.”

haaretzAs of Friday, 17,000 passengers had returned home and 1,600 had tested positive for COVID, an Israeli newspaper reported. Israel says 25,000 Israelis made the pilgrimage to Uman. More than 150 Israelis are suspected of using fake negative coronavirus test results to return home, according to the new York Times.

Britain’s health ministry announced on Sunday it would reverse its decision to require a ‘vaccine passport’ for Britons entering nightclubs and bars.

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Health Minister Sajid Javid said the idea, facing pushback from Conservative lawmakers, had been put on hold but would be reconsidered if the rate of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, continues to decline. has increased significantly.

Britain is expected to announce this week its plans to vaccinate young people aged 12 to 15 in the fight against the virus. The vaccine campaign is likely to start later this month.

Students apply hand sanitizer in a classroom at Vikarunnisa Noon School College after the government lifted restrictions on educational institutions following a reduction in the number of cases of COVID-19, in Dhaka, Bangladesh September 12, 2021.

Elsewhere, Bangladesh reopened schools on Sunday after more than 500 days of shutdown, as the government reported that 97% of teachers across the country had been fully vaccinated.

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Children were still required to wear masks in schools and the government warned against laxity in safety measures. For now, students in each class will go to school once a week.

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center said early Monday that it has recorded 224.7 million COVID cases worldwide. The Center said that 5.7 million vaccines have been administered.

(Some of the information for this report comes from Reuters.)

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New Zealand's largest city remains in strict lockdown
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