Tag Archives: arrival

Covid 19 coronavirus: Experts are calling for stricter checks on travelers after hundreds of people arrived in NZ and left for Australia | Instant News


Professor Shaun Hendy: “We need to be better at following up with travelers and understanding where they are going.” Photo / Greg Bowker

One expert called for stricter checks on travelers leaving New Zealand as soon as arriving here after receiving news that hundreds of new arrivals had departed for Australia.

NZ statistics have confirmed that the 549 people who arrived in New Zealand on or after October 1 left for Australia in October or November.

Most of them (492) are residents of New Zealand, and many are believed to be flight crew and business people who still travel regularly despite the Covid ban.

But Professor Shaun Hendy of the University of Auckland, who has become an example of the risks of international travel during the Covid-19 pandemic, said the figures show the need to track down all those who leave quarantine in case of another outbreak in the community.

“We need to be better at following up with travelers and understanding where they are going,” he said.

“If we ever consider a situation where we ask for a follow-up [in a community outbreak], then we want to be able to ask people to come for the test and for further interaction with the border system, so it’s important to know whether they remain in New Zealand or not. “

The latest figures come after Australian authorities said that 12 people had been quarantined at Auckland’s Pullman Hotel at the same time as people who contracted Covid there last month. traveling to Sydney.

Three of them traveled from Sydney to Hong Kong, two went to Queensland and seven others lived in New South Wales.

NZ statistics say the 549 people who arrived in New Zealand after October 1 left in October or November – 39 in October and 510 in November, the latest figures available.

Australia allows New Zealanders to traveling without quarantine to New South Wales and the Northern Territory from 16 October, to South Australia from 20 October, to Victoria from 9 November and to Queensland from 12 December.

New Zealanders traveling to Western Australia still have to quarantine for 14 days.

The 549 people who arrived in New Zealand after October 1 and traveled to Australia before the end of November represented 2 percent of the 24,133 people who arrived in New Zealand in those two months, and a similar proportion of the 27,106 who left New Zealand. country in those months.

Nearly all (492) of the 549 people were New Zealand residents, with only 57 residents of other countries entering New Zealand after 1 October and leaving on 30 November.

New Zealand Statistics population indicators manager Tehseen Islam said the 549 arrivals who traveled to Australia included flight crew, who had to undergo Covid tests every seven days but do not have to be quarantined for 14 days.

Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins said he had asked officials “to consider the entire process and to explore whether the system could be modified so that those who depart quickly for Australia can and should pay a premium to stay in MIQ”.

“I don’t see any evidence of specific motivation why people travel to Australia within months of landing in New Zealand,” he said.

“There may be various reasons, and travelers can include any number of New Zealand nationals.

“We need to strike the right balance in recognizing people’s rights to freedom of movement by fairly managing the MIQ’s limited resources and the Kiwi’s right to return.”

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America’s Cup 2021: New rules open up exciting strategic possibilities | Instant News


The new rules imposed for the Prada Cup final and America’s Cup matches could be a well-received strategic tool by rival syndicates in the coming weeks.

With the two remaining draws in the Copa America campaign, it was agreed that all teams would have the opportunity to request a delay of 15 minutes before the race started. Each team can do this once per series.

However, if the conditions work together, the delay card can be used for more than a 15 minute buffer.

Race director Iain Murray confirmed that there will be no time limit over which teams must use their cards in the races of the day, provided it is before the appropriate race.

Since the race must start before 18:00, teams can request a 15 minute delay after 5:45 pm which will then postpone the race until the following day.

“They’re three minutes to six, no,” Murray joked.

“There’s no last time [they can use it]… we can’t start after 6, so effectively they could use that delay card as a day’s delay if they thought I’d start at six or before. “

For such a situation to occur, there would need to be a delay of about one hour for the first race of the day, which is scheduled to take place at 4:15 p.m. on each race day.

Late changes or fixes to ship setup can be turned into a full race postponement by the team under the new rules.  Photo / Dean Purcell
Late changes or fixes to ship setup can be turned into a full race postponement by the team under the new rules. Photo / Dean Purcell

Murray said that if one of the two races scheduled for a given day were postponed, race management could try to run three races the other day, but the yacht could not compete more than twice without a deal between Challenger of Record and Defender, which Murray advised not to. maybe.

“The default situation is a cruise ship will not sail more than two races a day.”

With winds expected to be nearing the threshold for the first race of the day, there could be delays, Murray said, but conditions are expected to improve as the afternoon goes on.

If a race is postponed to the point where only one contest can be run today, the next available opportunity to catch up is a reserve day on Tuesday.

Towards a Cup race?

• Give yourself plenty of time and think about taking the ferry, train, or bus to watch the Cup.

• Make sure your AT HOP card is in your pocket. It’s the best way to ride.

• Don’t forget to scan the QR code with the NZ COVID Tracer app while on public transportation and entering America’s Cup Village.

• For more ways to enjoy race day, visit at.govt.nz/americascup.

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More than 40 international navy have come to Pakistan for Safe 2021 | Instant News


KARACHI: Pakistan Navy is holding its eighth annual ‘Safe’ multinational exercise from mid-February, during which navies from 46 countries participate.

Naval participants from continental Europe, Eurasia, Asia, America bring together ships, aircraft, special operations forces, and observers for the collaborative peace and security of the maritime domain. The Pakistani Navy seeks to enhance interoperability between regional and extra-regional navies to promote peace and stability in the region and beyond. From 2006 onwards, incidents of piracy and maritime terrorism such as those of Somali pirates hijacking commercial ships and crew have increased significantly around the world but particularly in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf and the Somali Basin. threatens commercial interests and freedoms on the high seas. According to the International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Center, due to the joint global efforts of which Pakistan is a key part, incidents of piracy and terrorism fell to 41 in 2019 from 180 in 2017.

The Pakistan Navy was the first regional navy to become a member of the US-led Joint Maritime Forces and was based in Bahrain in 2004 to conduct Regional Maritime Security Patrols in the southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and choking points in the Maldives. The PN’s Task Force-88 itself is focused on ensuring a strong security posture in the maritime security of Gwadar and the adjacent sea lanes.

Safe Exercises also provide the opportunity for detailed coordination of the individual rules and regulations of different navies and consequently develop and practice the tactics essential for joint operations that are critical to ensuring safe and secure sea lanes across the world’s oceans. In this context, the Arabian Sea communication line, which is the jugular of global and regional trade and trade with many chokepoints, needs to be protected from traditional and asymmetric threats and from disruptive communication technologies that arise related to artificial intelligence and robotics that have the potential to threaten digital security including deep water cables. , energy channels, and other assets. By practicing together and developing common, synchronized strategies and common tactics to safeguard and prevent growing global and regional vulnerabilities to cyber attacks and using new instruments of cooperation, Aman has delivered another proverb in the Pakistan Navy’s maritime diplomacy. AMAN is not a foreign word to those who understand the vernacular and its closest variants, which means ‘peace’ and therefore its training motto is ‘Together for Peace’.

The ocean phase of the exercise includes practical execution of operational plans and activities completed during the port and International Fleet Review phases in addition to international band performances, food parties, cultural performances and friendly sports matches.

Exploring the sea from the top of the Sea Sultan or Embraer Lineage 1000, the Z9EC torpedo helicopters land with gusts of wind, the EOD team dives to neutralize underwater mines, brave red barrels leap from clouds in dark jumpsuits or ride a rubber boat over the extremely water. choppy towards pouncing on unsuspecting terrorists, those who are secretly destroying the surface of the sea, the face-painted marines armed with pistols painted with camouflage faces hugging marshy creeks closer to the enemy, to hidden submarines lurking beneath the sea. deep and immovable for threats above and below the surface, the men in white digital camouflage of targets from surface combatants, destroyers, corvettes, and missile boats cruising on swirling, undulating waves all send a strong message that we are “Together for Peace,” – stepped back.

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Covid 19 coronavirus: The government is expanding pre-departure tests for more travelers | Instant News


The government has officially required nearly every traveler to New Zealand to test negative for Covid-19 before boarding a plane.

The new rules will come into effect at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, January 25 – this is in an effort to minimize disruption to passengers leaving soon.

This regulation was signed last week by Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins. Previously, only travelers from the UK and US needed to test negative in order to come to New Zealand.

Starting January 25, it has been extended to any incoming tourists, except Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Island nations.

But not all Pacific Island countries are excluded – Papua New Guinea, which has nearly 1,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, is not on the list.

Likewise with French Polynesia, where 17,000 cases have been confirmed and 126 people have died from Covid-19.

Hipkins also said that the Government was “exploring several possibilities” whether they could get a small amount of the Covid-19 vaccine to frontline workers earlier than previously hinted at.

“If we can do it, we will be able to do it very quickly – but it all depends on whether the vaccine company will supply it,” he told a news conference this afternoon.

He would not elaborate because it is “quite a sensitive international negotiation”.

Hipkins said the new measures would not stop Covid from entering the country, but the government’s aim was to reduce the number of cases.

He said nearly all travelers had complied with the rules so far, and airlines were “very supportive”.

“New Zealand is not alone here – many countries are now proposing this.”

Hipkins said airlines have been vigilant to ensure travelers have followed the rules before they board their flights to NZ.

Asked about New Zealand’s access to the Covid vaccine, Hipkins said “we are very close to the front of the queue”. The first deliveries will arrive in the first quarter – “that’s the earliest time we can get … that’s the reality of manufacturing”.

Starting February 8, all passengers arriving in New Zealand – except those from exempt countries – without evidence of an approved negative test or medical certificate will be subject to an offense fee or a fine of up to $ 1000.

Hipkins said that so far only one person from the US or UK has not tested negative for Covid-19.

He added that airlines are increasingly refusing to board people who fail to produce negative tests.

But he said the Government could increase the fine if there was a higher level of non-compliance.

In addition to the new pre-departure requirements, the Government has also changed the rules surrounding Covid-19 testing in New Zealand’s managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facilities.

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From now on, travelers arriving to New Zealand will be required to take the test on arrival – again, except for Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Island countries.

They still have to undergo quarantine for 14 days, and undergo routine tests on the third and 12th day.

“New Zealand already has some of the strictest border protection measures in the world,” Hipkins said this morning.

“Today’s amendments further strengthen that position in line with the Government’s overall elimination strategy, and more actions can be added as needed.”

Asked about potential contact between people at MIQ facilities, such as in designated smoking areas, Hipkins said the Government has tightened social distancing measures.

Hipkins said the primary obligation was on travelers to comply with regulations – but airlines were also expected to play a role in checking whether passengers had negative test evidence.

Full list of countries and territories not included in the expanded pre-departure requirements:

• Antarctica
• Australia
• Cook Islands
• Federated States of Micronesia
• Fiji
• Kiribati
• Marshall Island
• Nauru
• New Caledonia
• Niue
• Palau
• Samoa
• Solomon Islands
• Tokelau
• Tonga
• Tuvalu
• Vanuatu
• Wallis and Futuna.

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Viral-fighting antibodies persist in New Zealand’s Covid-19 patients | Instant News


Viral-fighting antibodies have been found in Kiwi Covid-19 patients for up to eight months after they were infected – a finding that could bode well for the upcoming vaccine rollout.

The new research, released before peer review, has also proven to be of global importance, given that antibodies persist even when no viruses are circulating in the community.

The study analyzed antibodies in a group of 112 New Zealand patients previously infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, most of whom had mild symptoms.

Antibodies play an important role in the immune system against pathogens such as the coronavirus.

Once a new virus is recognized, antibodies are specially crafted to bind to the “spike protein” and stop it from entering our cells – while signaling other parts of the immune system to destroy foreign invaders.

“Because antibodies are very specific for an invading pathogen or virus, they also provide a way to track and study a person’s history of infection,” said Dr. Nikki Moreland, an immunologist and biomedical scientist at the University of Auckland.

“In other words, by taking a blood sample of someone, and seeing if there are specific antibodies for SARS-CoV-2 in circulation, it’s possible to determine if they have previously had Covid-19.”

This is useful for diagnosis – especially when the swab has no more virus due to infection several weeks or months ago.

“By studying the level and function of circulating antibodies, it is also possible to determine whether a person has the types of antibodies that might provide protection if they encounter certain viruses or pathogens again.”

The new collaborative study, carried out by PhD student Alana Whitcombe and research scientist Dr Reuben McGregor on the Moreland team, investigates not only the quantity of antibodies in previously infected people – but also their quality.

“Specifically, do people have antibodies that bind to viral spike proteins, can these antibodies neutralize the virus, and how long do these antibodies last?” McGregor said.

In the laboratory, the researchers measured levels of circulating antibodies that bind to spike proteins, as well as whether those antibodies neutralized.

“Since we had samples from people who were infected months earlier, we can use this measurement to see how long the antibodies last.”

Antibodies play an important role in the immune system against pathogens such as the coronavirus.  Photo / 123RF
Antibodies play an important role in the immune system against pathogens such as the coronavirus. Photo / 123RF

“The good news is we observed that the majority of people have neutralizing antibodies that bind to the spike protein and they can be detected for up to eight months after infection.”

While overseas research shows this too, the main difference is that this effect has been demonstrated in countries where Covid-19 has been successfully eliminated.

“People in New Zealand are not re-exposed to the virus like they are in countries with high community transmission rates,” Moreland said.

When someone is re-exposed, he explained, their immune system boosts, which can affect levels of circulating antibodies.

That makes similar data from abroad more difficult to interpret, given it’s unclear whether antibodies were there simply as a result of re-exposure.

“In New Zealand we are fortunate not to have that problem to consider when looking at our data,” said Moreland.

“We believe the antibodies we measured came from the initial infection, so seeing these antibodies last up to eight months was really encouraging.”

What does the vaccine launch mean?

Moreland said the study offers some “positive signals”, given the data from vaccine trials showing the agent induces similar – and in some cases higher – levels of neutralizing antibodies for natural infections.

“So the protection from the vaccine is also likely to last for months and maybe even longer,” he said.

“But we are still studying in real-time, every month we see that the antibodies last one month longer.

“Also, there are several different vaccines and it is important to track the antibody response to different vaccines to measure whether there is a difference in the quality and quantity of the antibodies they produce, and how long the neutralizing antibodies to vaccines last.”

Further studies showed that scientists could accurately measure spike antibodies from finger prick blood samples.

“This could drastically improve the feasibility of large-scale studies to track vaccine antibody responses.” Whitcombe said.

The paper, uploaded to medRxiv’s pre-print server, involved doctors and scientists from the University of Otago, New Zealand Blood Service, Te Punaha Matatini, Callaghan Innovations, the Maurice Wilkins Center, Southern Community Laboratory and the City of Auckland, Starship and Kidz First Children’s Hospital .

“This work would not have been possible without a national network of doctors, nurses, researchers and scientists and highlighted the collaborative nature of New Zealand’s science during the pandemic,” said Moreland.

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