New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ordered the military to tighten control at the border after two infected women left quarantine.
On Tuesday, the country’s record was broken when two women who recently travelled from Britain, were allowed out of quarantine. Authorities let the women leave from quarantine without being tested although one individual had symptoms.
The women later tested positive for the virus after having travelled 650 kilometres to meet a dying relative in Wellington. Also Read- Great New discovery in COVID-19 drug study
As a result, the Prime Minister ordered the military to tighten controls and measures at the border. Ardern set the Assistant Chief of Defence Digby Webb to oversee the border in relation to quarantine operations. The chief has been given full access to needed military personnel and logistic expertise.
“My view is that we need the rigour, we need the confidence, we need the discipline that the military can provide,” Ardern told reporters.
Health Minister David Clark said New Zealanders are angry at the blunder by the border control after the country had conquered the virus with a stringent 7-week lockdown. New Zealanders have made great sacrifices to make it to this point,” he said. “Our system has performed incredibly well as a whole in New Zealand. We have eliminated COVID-19 but I want this fixed straight away.”
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The Prime Minister added that the program which allowed the two women to leave quarantine has been terminated. Now, all recent arrivals must test negative for the virus before being allowed to leave and mingle in the community.
Officials say approximately 3,500 people are currently staying in hotels in border quarantine. Further, the two women are staying in isolation in Wellington while health officials test around 320 people they had contact with.