New Zealand: “May the Squid Games begin”

Also not advisable in the pandemic: the traditional Maori nose salute. Image: USAF, public domain

Corona model student New Zealand wants to relax restrictions, Maori particularly affected are outraged

While the number of corona infections in Germany climbed to new heights of not quite 40,000 on Tuesday and Germany is again among the top ten in the international comparison in terms of the number of newly infected people and deaths, people are much more cautious elsewhere.

Hong Kong, for example, has now tightened the entry requirements even further, such as those appearing in the autonomous metropolis on the Pearl River Delta South China Morning Post reported. Even New Zealand is no longer considered a low-risk area there.

This is the answer to a change in Wellington’s corona strategy. The authorities there have announced that they will pursue a policy of living with the virus in the future. Most recently there were 149 new infections in one day.

New Zealand had the pandemic under control for a long time. A second, smaller wave did not occur until the end of August / beginning of September. It ebbed quickly, but the number of infections has increased significantly since the end of September, obviously a consequence of the more infectious Delta variant. On November 6th, 204 new infections were reported, the all-time high.

According to the government, 79 percent of the population is fully vaccinated. 89 percent have received at least one vaccination. The country has 4.8 million inhabitants.

In Hong Kong, with its 7.4 million inhabitants, however, there have only been single-digit new infections every day since April. According to the Worldometer figures, the highest daily value to date was 149 and was reached at the height of the second wave in summer 2020.

Squid Games

According to a report in the British newspaper Guardian Wellington’s Social Democratic Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced in mid-October that she would introduce a new traffic light system and largely lift the restrictions once 90 percent of the population have been vaccinated.

Then there was harsh criticism from the Maoris. Representatives of the indigenous minority say that they are particularly affected by the pandemic. Of all ethnic groups, it has the highest number of infections and victims.

“The prime minister says no one will be left behind,” the newspaper quoted Maori MP and co-chairman Rawiri Waititi as saying. “What she means is no one is left behind but the Maori. May the Squid Games begin.”

However, Ardern’s announcement was made at the beginning of the latest wave of pandemics, whether it will actually do it when the 90 percent quota is reached remains to be seen.