LONDON (Reuters) – Any COVID status certification scheme Britain adopts must be enforceable and must not discriminate against unvaccinated people, said the minister in charge of vaccine launches on Tuesday.
“There will not be a situation where the government will let that happen,” said Nadhim Zahawi on BBC television in response to a question about whether the certification scheme would be discriminatory.
“Everyone can get a test. There is no discrimination. “Not everyone can get a vaccine … that’s why we have to look at all the technologies to make sure they work together,” he said.
Reporting by Michael Holden and Estelle Shirbon; edited by Alistair Smout
New Zealanders have reportedly been offered a false negative Covid-19 test result certificate in an attempt to comply with the Government’s pre-departure testing regime.
And the regime is being questioned by experts, who agree that it is not functioning the way it should.
Health Director General Dr Ashley Bloomfield said officials were checking the system, as more people tested positive for Covid-19 on their first day in managed isolation, even though it had produced negative results abroad.
Although the overhaul of the system may prove difficult, as it relies on the Covid-19 testing capabilities of other countries, this is “the most important measure for New Zealand,” according to one expert.
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This was when University of Auckland microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles revealed that he had been notified of someone being offered a false negative pre-departure test certificate for a fee.
This led him and epidemiologist Dr Michael Baker to raise questions about the effectiveness of the pre-departure testing system.
The pre-departure rules, which came into effect in late January, aim to “better protect New Zealand from Covid-19,” said Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins at the time.
The rules mean a returnee must show a negative Covid-19 test certificate to come to New Zealand.
They were announced at the same time as the expansion of the managed isolation testing regime, under which nearly all returnees will receive a 0/1 day test.
According to Ministry of Health data, a large number of people who returned positive results for Covid-19 upon returning to New Zealand did so on day 0/1.
According to Wiles, this data tells two stories.
The first is that the Government is right to introduce the 0/1 day test rule.
“It’s clear from the number of positive 0/1 day tests we got that their introduction is a good idea,” said Wiles.
But the data also show that the pre-departure testing regime is not working as expected.
“For those who test negative, it just tells us they were negative at the time of testing,” said Wiles.
“That doesn’t mean they aren’t incubating the virus or won’t be infected in the time between their tests and arriving in New Zealand.”
And there’s another problem: fake test results.
“I’m sure unscrupulous people will also offer false negative pre-departure test certificates for a fee.
“Someone contacted me to inform me that their relative had been offered in France but was turned down.”
Baker said the government needed to do more work to improve the pre-departure system, given how important it was to New Zealand’s Covid-19 defense.
“Finding ways to manage this risk is perhaps the most important action for New Zealand, in terms of managing Covid.”
There are several ways that can be done, he said.
For example, returnees could be asked to sign a statement saying that they had been in isolation for a week prior to their departure and that they had regularly worn a mask.
In announcing his policy of pre-departure testing, Hipkins said: “It is important to remember that this will not stop Covid-19 from entering New Zealand.
“We will still see people show up at the border who later test positive – our goal is to reduce the number of people arriving with Covid-19.”
Nonetheless, Bloomfield told reporters on Friday that the Government was examining a pre-departure testing regime.
Although “very few” people return to New Zealand without evidence of pre-departure testing, he said the nature and reliability of the tests vary around the world.
But it’s something that’s always assumed and, therefore, that’s why the 0/1 day test rule was enforced.
He said the Government did not specifically look at one country’s pre-departure testing regime because officials did not have all the information on different testing approaches.
“But we’re really taking, at face value, a valid certification from the fact that someone is undergoing a pre-departure test, which does require fairly specific information.”
Testing data shows some countries clearly have significantly worse pre-departure testing regimes than others.
India, for example, has a particularly poor track record with around 40 people testing positive for Covid-19 on day 0/1 upon their return to New Zealand since the pre-departure rules came into effect.
The figure was even higher when the 3rd day test was taken into account.
Unfortunately, there appears to be little New Zealand that can do about the flawed pre-departure system, said Wiles.
“In an ideal world, we would watch where people get tested so we know the results are reliable, and we have the facilities to isolate people before they board the plane to minimize the chance of getting infected in transit.”
But it is effectively moving the MIQ system offshore, Wiles said.
“We know how difficult it is to run the system here in New Zealand so the idea that we can outsource overseas is completely impractical.”
BERLIN (Reuters) – Deutsche Telekom said on Monday it had submitted an application to the German government to draft digital vaccination passports, as part of European efforts to reopen travel for those with protection against COVID-19.
A spokesman confirmed that the telecommunications group had submitted a bid under a tender that was called up last week and closed on Monday. CEO Tim Hoettges told reporters on Friday that Deutsche Telekom plans to make an offer.
Health Minister Jens Spahn wants vaccination passports ready in 12 weeks as part of an EU plan in which they will serve as proof that the holder has been vaccinated or has recovered from a viral disease and thus has a degree of protection against the disease.
The EU executive aims to present its plans for a “digital green permit” on March 17 and to work with international organizations to ensure its systems also work outside the EU, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday.
Deutsche Telekom, which is partially owned by the state, co-designed a German smartphone app that uses Bluetooth short-range radio chat between devices to indicate and warn those at risk of contracting COVID-19.
The Corona Warn application, which has been downloaded nearly 26 million times, was created in partnership with SAP. However, the business software group said that was not part of the offer for digital vaccination passports.
US software giant Microsoft declined to comment on reports that it participated in the tender.
Germany already uses yellow passport-sized booklets to keep records of individual vaccinations. Under the existing plans, this tape – which does not entail any travel privileges – will go digital next year.
Reporting by Nadine Schimroszik, Written by Douglas Busvine, Editing by Susan Fenton
Ground staff with PPE welcoming passengers disembarking from their flights at Sydney Airport on 10 October 2020. Photo / Provided
Vaccination certificates “very likely” will be required for international travel, the Federal Minister for Australian Government Services said today.
“There are still a number of decisions to be made by the government, it is very likely that a certificate will be required for international visitors to Australia and we will continue to work with our international partners on our framework for vaccination certificates,” said Stuart Robert.
“Australians can have the assurance that the certificate they are going to have will be strong, it will stick with them, so they will know it is their certificate, and it will be widely accepted.”
He did not confirm, however, whether it would lead to faster opening of international borders, saying he would leave “any comments” to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“But any requirement to open borders will require vaccination and that will require widespread use of certificates and that is what we are talking about today,” added Robert.
“Australians can be very confident that their digital or paper-based certificates will be strong.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan announced Thursday that the inheritance certificate will now be issued within 15 days.
Speaking at the launching ceremony for the Administration Letter and Succession Certificate, the prime minister said the reason behind the corrective action was to make ordinary people’s lives easier.
He regrets that the land mafia illegally took over their plots, while noting that half of the cases pending in court are land disputes.
“We are trying to bring reforms and change our justice system for the better,” he said, adding that it would be another step towards providing assistance to the people.
The criminal justice system needs work
The prime minister said that Pakistan’s criminal justice system needs to be improved as the current arrangements encourage crime.
He said that “once the perpetrators face punishment for their crimes, the crime rate will eventually drop in the country.”
“A civilized society gives a message: Crime doesn’t pay,” he said, stressing the need for reform in the criminal justice system.
A state like Medina
Reiterating his determination to turn Pakistan into a country like Medina, he said: “In the state of Medina, monarchy does not exist.”
The state is based on principles of equality and justice, he said, adding that people do not know that it is a “modern state”.
Based on Radio PakistanThe Ministry of Law has set up a mechanism to establish a Succession Facilitation Unit in collaboration with the National Database and Registration Agency (NADRA) for the issuance of an Administration Letter and Succession Certificate within 15 days of commencement of applications by the legal heirs of the deceased. .
Previously, it usually took two to seven years to obtain a simple Administration Letter or Certificate of Succession, but now it only takes 15 days.
“People-friendly law reform is considered important by the current government which aims to ensure justice through people-friendly laws.
One of the most important pieces of legislation passed in this regard is The Letters of Administration and Succession Certificates Act, 2020. “
The law is important to address common problems faced by deceased heirs in the issuance of Administration Letters and Succession Certificates, he added.