Wellington: The New Zealand police have arrested dozens of people as they faced off with anti-vaccine mandate protesters who were camping on the grounds of the nation’s Parliament.
Thursday February 10 was the third day that hundreds of protesters have stayed in front of the parliament and refused to leave, with abuses, objects-hurling and scuffles to the police officers, reports Xinhua news agency.
More than 100 police officers were deployed to assist in the operation, and people were warned not to go to the area as it could cause traffic disruptions.
Inspired by protests in Canada, hundreds of people gathered in Wellington from Tuesday to protest against vaccine mandate and mask using policies.
They blocked the streets outside Parliament building with trucks and campers.
Epidemiologists said the protest has risks of becoming a Covid-19 super-spread event.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the protesters to “move on”, saying that people are expected to have behaviours that “don’t disrupt the ability of others to go on with their lives as well”.
Ardern made the statement while visiting an Auckland vaccination centre, which marked the beginning of a “booster week”, a campaign calling on Kiwis to get their Covid-19 booster vaccines amid a community outbreak of the Omicron variant.
New Zealand recorded 306 new community cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, 216 of which were in the largest city Auckland.
“I do just want to remind people again, the sooner you can get boosted, the better,” Ardern said.