Daily Management Review

Detection Of New Virus Strain In New Zealand, Australia Suspends Travel Bubble


Detection Of New Virus Strain In New Zealand, Australia Suspends Travel Bubble
After New Zealand confirmed that its first case of Covid-19 infection in months was because of the South African variant of the virus,  a travel bubble with the country was suspended by its closest neighbour Australia.
The individual who has been infected had spent a 14 day quarantine period and had tested negative twice for Covid-19 prior to exhibiting symptoms of the disease. 
A through hotel quarantine has been implemented for all travellers coming from New Zealand to Australia within the next three days.
The suspension was done out of an "abundance of caution", said Australia’s Health Minister Greg Hunt. "It is recommended all passengers from New Zealand with a flight scheduled in the next 72 hours reconsider their need to travel," he told reporters.
The decision of suspension of the air bubble was made by the government on the advice of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), the minister added.
Those who had arrived in Australia on a flight from New Zealand on or after January 14 have also been asked to remain in isolation and get tested for Covid-19, the minister said. 
Before the new infection of the 56-year-old woman was detected by New Zealand health officials, she has visited at least 30 places with the country since she had returned from Europe. It was most likely that the woman was infected with the virus by a fellow returnee, said local officials.
While it is evident that the South African variant of the novel coronavirus is significantly more contagious than the original strain of the virus that emerged form Wuhan in Chiba, scientists currently do not have any evidence that suggests that the variant is more deadly or causes more serious illness.
This new South African strain of the virus has already become the most dominant variant among the latest infections in the Eastern and Western Cape provinces of South Africa.
77 people with the South African variant have been identified to have been infected already in the United Kingdom.
Australia and New Zealand had set up and made operational the air travel bubble between the two countries in October last year even though it was mostly a one way arrangement. Currently there is a travel ban imposed on Australians and none of its citizens are allowed to leave the country on any overseas trip.
Since bans had been imposed by most countries because of the emergence of the Cvoid-19 pandemic all around the world, Australia and New Zealand were among the first countries in the Asia-Pacific region to loosen restrictions on international travel.