The New Zealand government will increase the presence of the military in isolated facilities on its borders to take greater responsibility for surveillance after several errors were discovered during these months that would pose a public health risk.
“Our intention is to end the use of private security companies, especially in places with the highest risk,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, announcing the deployment of around 500 additional troops, which are reported to be almost double what it is now. Bloomberg.
Ardern first mobilized the armed forces in June after two women from the UK left isolation early and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. One man also managed to escape from a hotel set up as a quarantine center and spend an hour on the street before it was confirmed he was carrying the virus.
New Zealand’s borders are still closed to foreigners today and all residents with permission to return must spend two weeks in isolation and undergo tests. Authorities estimate that around 40,000 people have passed through the 32 approved centers for these quarantines.