More Top Stories


Nines in Paradise thrills

9 January 2024


The year in sports 2023

31 December 2023


2023 year in review

31 December 2023

Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022

Cook Islands faces Covid complacency as cases rise

Friday 12 January 2024 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Health, National


Cook Islands faces Covid  complacency as cases rise

Concerns are mounting about a potential complacency towards Covid safety measures after new cases emerged in Rarotonga and the outer islands.

Some people have become complacent and relaxed as Covid becomes the norm, says Te Marae Ora Ministry of Health.

Secretary of Health Bob Williams said: “As we have normalised Covid there is tendency for some people to be complacent and relaxed.”

Williams said nine Covid-19 cases have been reported in the Cook Islands this month, confirming that current infections haven’t required hospital admission.

Six cases were reported in Aitutaki and three in Rarotonga.

Williams notes that there’s also a flu circulating currently, and some people may have both flu and Covid simultaneously.

His advice remains unchanged: those who test positive for Covid should self-isolate, take medication, drink plenty of water, and get sufficient rest.

Williams acknowledged that some people are following the advice and self-isolating and wearing masks.

He said the hospital remains prepared for any severe infections, but all reported cases so far have been mild.

Last year (2023), there were a total of 445 Covid cases, with 342 first infections and 103 re-infections.

Additionally, about 397 people have received both Covid vaccine doses, while 48 remain unvaccinated.

In a previous statement last December, Williams mentioned an increase in reported cases, particularly on Aitutaki and Mangaia. However, none of those cases required hospitalisation, and all individuals recovered within three or four days.

He added that Te Marae Ora continues to monitor the Covid situation in New Zealand and doesn’t consider it a current concern for the Cook Islands.

Cook Islands has recorded two Covid-related deaths, the first one on Aitutaki in 2022 and the second on Mauke last year.