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ANKARA, April 8 -- New Zealand on Thursday suspended the entry of travellers from India amid a surge in coronavirus cases there, Anadolu Agency quoted a state-run media report.
"Cases of the virus have been on the rise internationally... with surges particularly in Brazil and India ... We are starting to see this global trend mirrored here," Radio New Zealand quoted Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announcing the decision.
"We are temporarily suspending entry into New Zealand for travellers from India," she added, saying that for now the ban will last from April 11 till April 28.
Under the restriction, citizens of New Zealand will also not be allowed to return from India – the first time the country has stopped its citizens or residents from returning, according to the report.
"I absolutely understand the difficulty this temporary suspension will cause," said Ardern. "I understand that, but I also feel a sense of responsibility and obligation to find ways to reduce risk that travellers are experiencing."
The decision came after a rise in the number of cases in the country from travellers arriving from India.
India reported 126,789 new cases and 685 more deaths over the past 24 hours, while New Zealand so far has seen only 2,555 cases and 26 deaths, according to official data.