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Covid-19 - New Zealand police make arrests as anti-covid mandate protests enter third day
New Zealand police on Thursday arrested more than 50 people and began forcefully removing hundreds of protesters camped outside its parliament building for the last three days to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates and tough coronavirus restrictions.
***New Zealand has mandated Coronavirus rules to protect its citizens. The NHS state the coronavirus vaccines are safe and effective and give you the best protection against COVID-19 for more information go to the NHS website ***
Inspired by truckers' demonstrations in Canada into a 13th day with protesters blocking two border crossings with the United States, several thousand protesters this week blocked streets near the parliament in capital Wellington with trucks, cars and motorcycles.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern acknowledged that every New Zealander had the right to protest, but said that should not disrupt others' lives. She added that the protests are not a reflection of what the majority in the country feels.
A country of five million people, New Zealand has reported just over 18,000 confirmed cases and 53 deaths since the pandemic began. About 94% of eligible people are vaccinated, with shots mandatory for some staff in frontline jobs.
Despite garnering plaudits for keeping the country virtually virus-free over the last two years, the strict restrictions now in place have become unpopular, with Ardern's approval ratings taking a hit in recent opinion polls.
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