Thousands protest in New Zealand against compulsory vaccination |  world |  DW

Thousands protest in New Zealand against compulsory vaccination | world | DW

Several thousand people gathered this Tuesday (9/11/2021) around the New Zealand Parliament, in Wellington, to protest the mandatory vaccine against COVID-19 and the harsh restrictions imposed in the peripheral nation during the pandemic.

In the midst of the large police presence, protesters carried signs with messages such as “Freedom” (Freedom), “No more control” (No more control) or “My body, my choice” (My Body, My Decision), and also showed images from local media. .

In the peaceful rally in which former US President Donald Trump’s flags were seen, a crowd of motorcyclists took part and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was harshly criticized.

The president, who since the beginning of the pandemic has opted for strict restrictions such as closing borders or selective confinement to stem the coronavirus, announced last month that he would make the vaccine mandatory for workers in contact with customers, as well as for teachers and health workers.

Auckland reopens

Ardern, who was initially praised for her pandemic management, said she would not abandon a zero-infection policy until 90 percent of the population is vaccinated.

“What we saw today was not representative of the opinion of the vast majority of New Zealanders. So, in fact, my message would be to them. It would be to thank them. Thank you for vaccinating and doing whatever it takes,” the Prime Minister said in response to the protests.

New Zealand, one of the countries that has fought most effectively against the new coronavirus, has only about 7,650 infections and 32 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

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According to the latest figures, about 80 percent of the population has already received the full course of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The government on Tuesday announced the start of reopening Auckland, the country’s most populous city, although it will keep restrictions in place until the 29th, when the blockade on the city hardest hit by the variable delta is expected to be lifted completely.

mg (efe, Reuters)

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