Monday, June 22, 2020

New Zealand government requests to delay arrivals of Air India flights to ramp up overburdened quarantine facilities

New Zealand government has requested Indian authorities to reschedule its incoming Air India evacuation flights that were also bringing Kiwis stranded in India back home by few days.

An officer of the office of the Indian High Commission in New Zealand has informed local ethnic media in Auckland about the revised schedule of three Air India flights. 

“On request from New Zealand side, the Vande Bharat Air India flights scheduled to leave from Auckland for India on 26 June, 28 June and 30 June have now been postponed to 28 June, 1 July and 3 July respectively,” Mr Paramjeet Singh, the Second Secretary (Political, Information & Commercial Representative), Indian High Commission said.

On following up with Mr Singh about any plausible reasons being given by the NZ authorities for such a request for delaying of flights, Mr Singh refused to divulge any information saying that the Vande Bharat Mission, which is taking both Indian and Kiwi passengers to their homes, is being run with mutual cooperation after accommodating each side’s concerns.

However, the Government's isolation and quarantine system are already oversubscribed and reached its limit with seven buses of new arrivals having to be transported to Rotorua on Sunday, Jun 21, for quarantine facilities, to the surprise of both the new arrivals and the locals at Rotorua.

Notably, many new arrivals were greeted with shock and surprise when they ere told almost fifteen minutes into their journey from Auckland airport on the motorways about the government’s decision to take them to Rotorua for the mandatory 14 days managed isolation and quarantine.

A total of 4272 people were now in managed isolation and with more flights expected this week so the Government was now approaching capacity in Auckland.

The last week has witnessed an increase in the number of new detections of Covid-19 infection at the borders, including three new cases from fresh arrivals from India.

Earlier, the government has come under some criticism for the seemingly poor management of Covid-19 testing and broader quarantine facilities at the border that saw two women arriving from the United Kingdom being allowed to travel from Auckland to Wellington without any testing at all causing huge public furore.
22/06/20 Indian Weekender
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