Covid-19: Auckland’s Indian community mobilizes after Omicron-linked weddings


The Pukekohe Indian Hall is a place of interest related to an Omicron case.

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The Pukekohe Indian Hall is a place of interest related to an Omicron case.

Two Indian community leaders in Auckland say they are ready for an outbreak of Omicron after people with the highly contagious variant of Covid-19 attended two community events.

Since Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Omicron was circulating in the community on Sunday, the Department of Health has identified two weddings performed by the Auckland Indian community as places of interest.

On Monday, the department announced five new cases of Omicron in Auckland, all stemming from an event attended by the family. On Tuesday, there were six more cases of Omicron in Auckland following at least one event.

Supreme Sikh Society New Zealand spokesperson Daljit Singh said their faith teaches them that it is not up to one person to end their

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Supreme Sikh Society New Zealand spokesperson Daljit Singh said their faith teaches them that it is not up to one person to end their “worldly bondage”.

Supreme Sikh Society President Daljit Singh said his group has plenty of food to deliver to members if they need it.

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Singh had spoken to some families who were self-isolating as close contacts for Omicron exposure.

The Gurudwara Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib Ji Sikh Temple in New Lynn, where a positive Covid case with the Omicron variant visited on Friday January 14.

David White / Stuff

The Gurudwara Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib Ji Sikh Temple in New Lynn, where a positive Covid case with the Omicron variant visited on Friday January 14.

“Most of them say they are fine… most of the test results are negative.

“It was very tense [on Monday],” he said.

Singh said families told him they felt targeted by the virus. However, Singh told them that the virus does not discriminate against religion or culture.

His message was: “Don’t be shy, come tell the ministry, isolate yourself and test yourself.

Staff at Covid-19 Motueka testing site on the day the government announced the Covid-19 traffic light system would switch to red.

MARTIN DE RUYTER/STUFF

Staff at Covid-19 Motueka testing site on the day the government announced the Covid-19 traffic light system would switch to red.

The Takinini Sikh Temple also introduced virtual worship so that anyone who had isolated themselves could still participate in their faith.

Singh said Takinini Temple had vaccinated 4,000 people and had seen an increase in bookings this week. The temple has already vaccinated 430 children between the ages of 5 and 11.

“Fingers crossed we don’t want to grow it,” he said.

Manjit Singh Batth, president of the Auckland Sikh Society, said people were “afraid” of the Omicron outbreak.

Manjit Singh Batth, president of the Auckland Sikh Society, said people were afraid of catching Omicron.

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Manjit Singh Batth, president of the Auckland Sikh Society, said people were afraid of catching Omicron.

“We tell people to keep their distance, wear masks, stay home and sanitize their hands,” he said.

Batth said his organization was ready with food parcels for those who had to stay home.

“In the next few days we will,” he said.

Batth wanted elders in his community to stay home while the virus circulated.

Auckland Indian Association President Dhansukh Lal said Indian communities in Auckland are capable of anything.

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Auckland Indian Association President Dhansukh Lal said Indian communities in Auckland are capable of anything.

“The Punjabi community is now much more sensitized,” he said.

Dhansukh Lal said the Indian Association of Auckland has offered to buy and deliver groceries to all of its members.

“Hopefully none of our members get Omicron. We are worried and if something happens, we have to deal with it.

“We tackle everything,” Lal said.

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But with high vaccination rates, he believed the community would be in a strong position.

“Indian communities have been very, very good,” he said.

The association had also proposed to the Ministry of Health the use of its room for vaccinations.

The latest figures released by the Ministry of Health show that 106% of Kiwi Indians have received a first dose of the vaccine, while 105% have received a second.

The numbers are over 100% because there had been a higher turnout of people vaccinated than the ministry had legislated – because more people got vaccinated than used services health the previous year.

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