The Dominion Post

Kiwi diplomats catch Covid-19

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) has revealed that 14 Kiwi diplomats or their dependants around the world have caught Covid19 since the start of the pandemic, but all have recovered. Far more locally hired staff have caught the disease, including seven current cases at the NZ High Commission in India. One of those cases became so critically ill that they required an oxygen tank, which the commission obtained with a bizarre tweet to a youth opposition leader. Another 34 locally engaged staff around the world have contracted Covid-19 and recovered. Over 100 staff came home on visits during the last year, mostly because of Covid. A spokesman for MFAT said it had provisions in place to mitigate the risk for staff overseas. ‘‘All outbound New Zealand staff are vaccinated against Covid, and posted staff can choose to return to New Zealand. Other provisions include the ability to reduce numbers of staff in the office, (and) pre-posting health assessment­s to ensure staff vulnerable to Covid are not posted to high-risk locations.’’

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