Tag Archives: way

‘That could be us tomorrow’: Top epidemiologist warns of what the Covid-19 outbreak in Sydney means for Aotearoa | Instant News


As Australian health officials struggle to contain the Covid-19 outbreak in Sydney, a top epidemiologist here warns “maybe it is us”.

Professor Michael Baker said New Zealand was arguably entering “our most dangerous stage” since the Auckland outbreak in August as the pandemic soared in the Northern Hemisphere.

Baker, of the University of Otago’s public health school, is now calling on refugees returning from countries where the virus is “out of control” to take additional steps and isolate under surveillance in a hotel and be tested before even stepping on a plane.

Professor Michael Baker wants stricter measures for refugees returning from where Covid-19 is located "out of control".  Photo / Provided
Professor Michael Baker wants stricter measures for refugees returning from where Covid-19 is “out of control”. Photo / Provided

The new strain of Covid-19, which is spreading rapidly across the UK, forcing a third of its population in isolation, is further evidence that the government needs to implement a “traffic light” system, he said.

“For New Zealand to go through the next few months until a vaccine is widely available, it must have other control measures in place in the source country to try to actually reduce the number of infected people arriving here, which is potentially our greatest vulnerability,” Baker said. , “especially now there appears to be the potential for a more contagious virus to become dominant.”

The Health Ministry yesterday reported six new cases since Friday in managed isolation facilities among people returning from South Africa, Australia, the United States and the Netherlands.

The ministry said it was also “closely monitoring” the outbreak in Sydney, where 30 new cases were reported overnight, forcing the cluster’s epicenter, the North Coast, into isolation and the wider Sydney area restricted.

Health officials are looking for the source of the outbreak on the north Sydney coast.  Photo / AP
Health officials are looking for the source of the outbreak on the north Sydney coast. Photo / AP

New South Wales chief health officer Kerry Chant said finding the source of the north shore outbreak may be “a challenge beyond us” despite extensive investigations.

Officials said they expected the numbers to increase.

The New Zealand government is taking a wait-and-see approach to the outbreak and what impact it will have on the proposed transtasy travel bubble.

A spokesman said the arrangements would not start until the first quarter of next year but that it would depend on not having significant changes in circumstances in the two countries.

“We are monitoring the situation closely, but it is too early to make a decision based on the current community case in New South Wales.”

Baker said arrivals from New South Wales need not be treated differently because a proportionate proportion of their cases are still “small” and Australia is committed to stopping the outbreak to continue elimination goals.

“The main thing is this should be a big warning for us is that we can be today or tomorrow. We need further caution here,” said Baker.

“It’s very easy, but when we are on vacation, the virus is not on vacation. The virus behaves as usual.”

As the pandemic spikes across the globe – especially in the northern hemisphere – with nearly 21.2 million active cases, Baker said this could be New Zealand’s most dangerous stage since the August Auckland outbreak.

Everyone who comes back infected poses a threat to us, he said.

“There is always the potential for error.”

Baker said he wanted the Government to adopt a traffic light approach to arrivals so that those arriving from the highest-risk countries had stricter quarantine measures.

Ideally, he would like those deemed high risk to be isolated for about three days in the hotel under surveillance and return negative tests before they even board their flight to New Zealand.

The new Covid-19 strain that forced British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to cancel Christmas for the more than 16 million Britons living in London and south-east England is likely to spread across Britain and Europe, he said.

While it doesn’t appear to be any more lethal or that vaccines and treatments aren’t affected by it, scientists believe it is more contagious.

Baker said this “shouldn’t be a big surprise” because it’s normal for the virus to mutate but might make it harder to contain.

“And that’s the problem.”

Baker said New Zealanders should remain vigilant during the summer and the most important things to do are:

• If you have cold or flu symptoms, cancel your plans to stay at home and get advice about getting tested

• wash your hands regularly

• download and use the Covid Tracer app religiously and activate the Bluetooth function

• Get in the habit of carrying a mask and be prepared to use it.

There should be no relaxation in our preventive measures.

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The year of the pandemic journey: in 2020 we left by staying close to home | Instant News



A trip to Kingston allowed us to reexamine the history of Canada. EricFerguson / iStockPhoto / Getty Images When planes stopped flying in March, the feeling that the world was closed hit particularly hard in my home office. I was on a 24 hour flight to Atlanta with my son at the time, a trip we had been looking forward to for months. Suddenly, it was impossible. And then, like a row of very sad dominoes, the whole travel industry started to crumble. Airlines have gone from overbooking flights to empty airports. Hotel occupancy rates have gone from near full to single digits. People have lost their way of life and their livelihood and have replaced optimism with fear. My own mantra, as a travel writer for 18 years, “Go Now!” is no longer applied. I preached from that same pulpit on the importance of not only “saving for a rainy day,” but also making the most of sunny days. When the forecast turned to gray skies for the foreseeable future, it was hard to know what to say. I’ve seen any trip that takes you away from home become difficult, then dangerous, then irresponsible. But something else also happened. The story continues under the advertising The beautiful days have literally returned. With the summer weather and a drop in COVID-19 numbers at the right time, the world opened up very slightly and “Go Now!” was back on the table, but with a caveat: we also had to “close”. I snuck my family of four through that slightly open window and ran with it. Our first trip was simply a drive; we never got out of the car but explored new neighborhoods, got ice cream cones driving and came home renewed. Manitoulin Island was an ideal destination for an RV trip. Ravi Natarajan / iStockPhoto / Getty Images We wanted more, and slowly we took it further. First, a few nights for a road trip to Chatham, Ontario where, with masks and from a distance, we explored black history, learning the history of the city as the terminus of the railroad. underground during slavery and how black communities developed here fell under segregationist laws. Taking tours – through nearby Buxton and possibly to the historic Uncle Tom’s Cabin site – offered moments of gratitude, respect and understanding. Then a few more nights with an RV trip to the beaches, parks and native lands of Manitoulin Island and surrounding areas. Visit Prince Edward County to appreciate the vineyards and farmland. A few days in Kingston to reexamine the history of Canada and go kayaking in the Thousand Islands. Our time outdoors has grown. We walked, biked more, and celebrated the freedom of our outdoor spaces – hiking trails and neighborhood trails and local parks – with renewed appreciation. Along the way, we also discovered what many of our fellow Canadians have been up to: our backyards are someone else’s dream destination. Spaces close to home offer as many exploration opportunities as those we dream of in distant lands. When the world opens up again, there are dozens of places I want to visit. But this year I have learned a valuable lesson. Traveling isn’t about distance, it’s about seeing the world – and this opportunity starts right outside your front door. Stay up to date with the weekly Sightseer newsletter. Register today. .



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Weather: A tropical cyclone may hit New Zealand a few days before Christmas | Instant News


A tropical cyclone in northern New Zealand may come a few days after Christmas Day. Photo Files / Sarah Bicknell

The plans for the Christmas barbie may need to change, as a tropical storm may be heading our way.

Weather authorities say computer modeling over the past few days has shown signs of a tropical cyclone threatening New Zealand in less than two weeks – and about a week away from the holiday itself.

WeatherWatch analysts say it is “very early days” but computer modeling is one that authorities believe.

“Multi-day modeling shows a tropical cyclone forming around Vanuatu into the Fiji region next week and moving east to west, towards the north Tasman Sea and the New Caledonia region,” said a statement.

“Over the coming week, we will continue to monitor the model and track this potential storm.”

Not even the rain could keep the youngsters away from this year's Auckland's Santa Peasants Parade.  Photo / Sylvie Whinray
Not even the rain could keep the youngsters away from this year’s Auckland’s Santa Peasants Parade. Photo / Sylvie Whinray

WeatherWatch said with La Nina’s (dry) weather system, it was only a matter of time before a typhoon would develop in the north of the country, above in the tropical southwest Pacific.

Despite the potential threat of a cyclone dampening things ahead of Christmas Day, weather experts say a major high pressure system is expected in New Zealand as the cyclone develops.

WeatherWatch says that a “strong and protective” high pressure can control whether a tropical low reaches here or not.

“The question is probably more about what happens in New Zealand towards the end of the third week of December and the start of the fourth week, ahead of Christmas, as these big highs move east.

“It looks like these highs in New Zealand may be the driving factor for any tropical lows to come.”

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Preparations for the Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari engagement are ongoing | Instant News


Karachi: Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari’s engagement will take place on Friday at Bilalawal House Karachi, sources informed The Express Tribune.

Mahmood Chaudhry, the prospective fiancé of the PPP Chairman’s sister is expected to arrive in Karachi with his family today.

It will be an outdoor ceremony and no members of Bilawal House Karachi staff will be allowed in unless they have undergone a PCR test for the coronavirus. It was also revealed that all guests will be asked to ensure they comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) regarding the coronavirus.

This development occurred when Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari tested positive for Covid-19, previously, his political secretary Jameel Soomro also tested positive.

Additionally, a catering committee has been set up to exclusively entertain the Chaudhry family while the team tasked with decorations will finish all their work tonight.

Former President Asif Ali Zardari is fully aware of all the arrangements for the event, the source said

Have something to add to the story? Share in the comments below.

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GO NZ: An interesting alternative to popular attractions in New Zealand | Instant News


Stonehenge Aotearoa is a full-scale adaptation of Stonehenge – and a stargazer’s paradise. Photo / Stonehenge Aotearoa.

While previously redundant tourist destinations are becoming more attractive and accessible to the average Kiwi with international borders closed, that doesn’t mean we won’t be competing for space in the busy summer months. Everyone has the same agenda, which means it’s also time to consider alternatives. Of course, there are some experiences – like traversing the volcanic landscape of Tongariro Crossing, or having a cool drink at Hobbiton’s Green Dragon Inn – that just can’t be duplicated.

But others can. If you do a little research, you’ll find that many of New Zealand’s popular attractions have lesser-known partners and are often cheaper. Here are six close siblings of some must-do activities in the country.

Explore shallow hot pools on the fine black volcanic sand at Kawhia hot springs.  Photo / Sally Jackson.
Explore shallow hot pools on the fine black volcanic sand at Kawhia hot springs. Photo / Sally Jackson.

Dig your private spa in the sand

An hour south of Raglan, Kawhia is a quiet seaside village with a harbor full of peas, oysters and mussels. It’s also where you’ll find one of the lesser known hot spring beaches. (Yes, there is more than one.)

The drill is exactly the same as in the Coromandel. At low tide, drive to the end of Ocean Beach Rd, where you’ll find a black, soulless beach above. You have to bring your own shovel. Watch for signs of steam rising from the sand and start digging. Once you reach the hot springs of Te Puia Springs, soak in the knowledge that somewhere across the island, lots of people are screaming for the same thing.

Try one of the world’s best burgers

Oh, Fergburger. Even if you’ve never seen the queues for this Queenstown institution, you’ve probably read blog posts or articles all about the burgers: how juicy the meat is, how tender the bread is and how amazing it is. it’s open for almost 21 hours a day.

What they don’t get romantic about, however, is how long you have to wait in line. If you are too hungry to wait in line, all you need to do is head over to the Devil Burger. Offering a similar product, at the same price, that is what the locals are for.

Seeing kiwis anywhere is special, but conditions on Kapiti Island increase your chances.  Photo / Provided.
Seeing kiwis anywhere is special, but conditions on Kapiti Island increase your chances. Photo / Provided.

Find kiwi in the wild

Thanks to its remote location and difficult sea crossings to get there, Rakiura (Stewart Island) remains relatively flawless compared to other popular tourist destinations. However, it is still struggling under the load of attractive visitors; pre-pandemic, about 44,000 people were visited per year. That’s about 111 tourists for each resident.

The island’s main attraction is the rare opportunity to see kiwis in the wild. It’s home to around 13,000 of New Zealand’s 68,000 kiwi, and the subspecies that live here can sometimes even be seen during the day for insects by the beach.

The catch? If seeing kiwi is your only goal, travel long distances without the guarantee you’ll see it.

Alternatively, there are a number of fenced predator-free shelters on the North Island and South Island that offer nighttime kiwi tours, including Wellington’s Zealandia and Waikato’s Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari. But the two hour tour presents a very limited window of time for viewing elusive birds, which is why it is so worthwhile to spend a night on Kāpiti Island.

This predator-free island is home to around 1,400 tiny looking kiwis, presenting one of the most reliable opportunities to spot them. Starting at $ 395 per adult ($ 230 per child), Kāpiti Island Nature Tours kiwi-sightseeing packages include transportation, accommodation in a glamping tent or cabin, and guided night tours.

Mount Aspiring National Park offers some of the most impressive walks in the country.  Photo / Provided
Mount Aspiring National Park offers some of the most impressive walks in the country. Photo / Provided

Hike one of New Zealand’s iconic walks

When Lonely Planet released its Ultimate Travel List earlier this month, 13 Kiwi destinations qualified, with Fiordland National Park topping the 29th position.Most visitors opt to take a boat tour through Milford Sound, but that area came first. undeniably the Milford Track. One of New Zealand’s 10 Great Walks, dubbed “the world’s best walk,” takes hikers through valleys carved by glaciers, past ancient rainforests and cascading waterfalls.

However, its reputation means it’s expensive (the hut costs $ 70 per person per night alone) and very difficult to book. Earlier this year, spots on track for the 2020-2021 season were almost sold out within 10 minutes of opening the booking system.

However, even though there are only 10 “Great Streets” in New Zealand, there are dozens of “great roads.”

The closest connection to the Milford Track is the Gillespie Pass Circuit, a 58 km loop best suited for experienced hikers with river crossing skills. Located near Mount Aspiring National Park, it also takes four days, reaches an altitude of 1,600 meters, and has serviced lodges along the way. And on publication, reservations are still available for the hut (only $ 20) during the holiday period.

On a Lake District Adventures nighttime kayaking tour, you'll paddle along the shores of Lake Karapiro to see glowworms.  Photo / Provided.
On a Lake District Adventures nighttime kayaking tour, you’ll paddle along the shores of Lake Karapiro to see glowworms. Photo / Provided.

Experience the magic of collecting glowworms

Waitomo is not the only place where large numbers of glowworms gather. For a cheap and fun version of the same, you can head to the DOC-run Waipū Caves in Northland, which are completely free to access.

If you don’t want to stray far from Waitomo and be in it for glowworms (not caves) sign up for the Lake District Adventures night kayaking tour ($ 109). On a four hour sunset excursion, you will paddle along the shores of Lake Karapiro. As dark falls, you’ll drift silently on the Pokaiwhenua Stream, your path only lighted by glow worms. The effect is very subtle, and with fewer people, your oar hitting the water is the only sound you’ll hear.

Stargazing in the Dark Sky Nature Reserve

Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve is an area known for its low levels of light pollution and many nights with bright stars. Currently, it may be the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere – but it won’t last long. Wairarapa is currently preparing to become the world’s largest Dark Sky Reserve, a designation which is expected to come later this year.

This is where you can experience some of the most unique and personalized astronomy tours in the country. For example, Becky Bateman of the local Under the Stars will bring her telescope straight to your accommodation. Then there’s Stonehenge Aotearoa, a full-scale adaptation of Stonehenge. If you show up on Friday or Saturday at 8:30 p.m., you’ll have the opportunity to look through the telescope and learn how the structure works. General admission is $ 15.

For more New Zealand travel ideas and inspiration, visit newzealand.com

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