The Kiwi-Indian community is incensed with what they strongly believe is a half-baked decision on temporarily suspending flights from India.
This is a historic and unprecedented decision where for the first time ever in New Zealand's history, citizens and residents will be denied the right of return to the country of their citizenship.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made this announcement in a hurriedly called press conference this afternoon.
The suspension will come into place at 4 p.m. April 11 and will remain in place till April 28.
The Indian Weekender had been inundated with messages from the concerned members of the community who are seeing decision-based on unconscious bias than actually on science and logistics.
Sunil Kaushal, President of Waitakere Indian Association, said, "While we need to ensure and protect the team of 5 million, some of the members returning to their families from one part of the world have been hard done by this suspension. Why don't we take the same measures for other parts of the world where the strain is pretty nasty?"
Notably, despite the government's stated fixation on the numbers of the recent spike in the number of Covid cases (average of 90,000 every day), it was completely oblivious to the fact that India is currently the leading nation to have vaccinated more than 10 million people.
According to the data available on Coronavirus Resource Centre of John Hopkins University, a leading global institution that is collating worldwide data on individual country responses to the raging Covid-pandemic India was up top only behind the United States in the number of people having been vaccinated.
India stands at number two with around 12 million people vaccinated against Covid behind the US, which has vaccinated around 60, million people.
Members of the community had asked the question that why the government had not shown a proclivity to hand in similar punitive actions on the countries like the United Kingdom and the US when the Covid pandemic was raging in those countries, especially with more deadly strains.
Some members of the community who have chosen to remain anonymous have raised questions over the quality of advice that the government had received from the department of public health.
"There was no hint given in the press conference by Public Health Director-General Dr Ashley Bloomfield earlier in the day of such an extreme response," one of the members of the community asked exasperatingly.
"It was categorically stated that there was no alarm in the quality of the pre-departure test in flights from India except that there was a recent spike in numbers of cases returning with positive tests in MIQ facility."
"This is more a question of how the government is managing the borders and vaccinating the frontline border workers than choosing on populistic options of selectively targeting countries," they concluded on the condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile National Party has also slammed the government’s alleged targeting of one country over the other instead of creating “smart borders we were promised.”
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