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COVID: Anti-vax protesters and police clash in New Zealand

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Google Oneindia News

Wellington, Mar 02: New Zealand police on Wednesday clashed with hundreds of protesters who have been camped outside the Parliament in Wellington for about three weeks.

Violence broke out in the afternoon as police tried to clear up the protest camp. Protesters set fire to a number of tents, sending thick black smoke into the air. They also hurled objects such as tent poles at the police.

COVID: Anti-vax protesters and police clash in New Zealand

Forces used pepper spray on some of the demonstrators, and began towing some of the cars, vans and trucks that protesters have used to block streets in the area. Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said 36 protesters had been arrested for trespassing, obstruction and other offences.

"We've become concerned that those with good intentions are now outnumbered by those with a willingness to use violence to effect their means," he said, adding that de-escalation was the preferred option.

New Zealand imposed tough anti-virus curbs that restricted since the beginning of the pandemic and has had low infection and death rates. But cases of the omicron variant have been on the rise. About 95% of eligible people are vaccinated with two doses.

Here are the latest coronavirus developments from around the world:

Americas

President Joe Biden said the United States will "never just accept living with COVID," during his State of the Union address. Biden said the country would continue fighting the virus. "Thanks to the progress we have made this past year, COVID-19 need no longer control our lives," he said, but asked people not to let their guard down yet, as there could be more variants.

Hawaii will soon lift its quarantine requirement for travelers this month. From March 26, those arriving from other places in the US will not have to show a vaccine certificate or negative test.

International travelers would still require proof of vaccination or a negative test result.

It is the only American state to implement a program of this kind. Hawaii has one of the lowest infection rates in the country.

Governor David Ige said the indoor mask mandate would still be in action, at least till March 25. The state department of health would then take a call after reviewing CDC recommendations, he added.

Source: DW

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