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Thursday 30 November 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Health, National, Pacific Games 2023, Sports


Ministry of Health clarifies screening procedures for returning athletes
Bronze-star ... Cook Islands paddler Andre Tutaka-George claimed his fourth bronze medal at the Pacific Games in Honiara, Solomon Islands yesterday after finishing third in the V1 16-kilometre marathon. He won bronze medals in the Men's K1 500m, Men's V1 500m and K1 16km races this week. ALEX HERMAN/23112930

Team Cook Islands has expressed satisfaction with the overall health of their athletes, with only a few reported illnesses during their stay in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

The 2023 Pacific Games will end with the closing ceremony on Friday night (Cook Islands time)

Earlier this week, Cook Islands’ middle-distance champion Alex Beddoes was forced to withdraw from the 800-metre event due to a foodborne illness.

However, Beddoes, was set to compete in the 1500m event last night, after making a remarkable recovery.

Chef de Mission Mark Short told Cook Islands News: “Team Cook Islands fortunately hasn’t had many athletes falling ill in Honiara. From memory, only Alex and another athlete from Athletics experienced diarrhoea, and we believe it may have been from the food.”

Short said the team’s medical team established an isolation area or quarantine room to prevent the spread of illness in case the cause was a virus.

“The good news is that Alex appears to have recovered, and the president for Athletics is making their food to avoid a similar problem from occurring again.”

Meanwhile, Ministry of Health Secretary Bob Williams clarified that screening athletes returning from the Pacific Games without symptoms for dengue, zika, or chikungunya would not be beneficial. Instead, they will follow the guidance of the Team Cook Islands travelling doctor.

“However, when symptomatic while back in country then we encourage them to present themselves to the Tupapa Primary Health or at their private GP,” Williams said.

“There is a public health response that TMO can activate should a case is detected and some simple measures such as use of insect repellent or wearing long sleeve clothing are simple measures the athletes can apply.”

Williams also said that TMO provided Team Cook Islands with medical supplies requested by their travelling doctor and CISNOC and expressed their hope that all athletes remain in good health.

Short confirmed that most of the athletes from football, rugby 7s and 9s, football, golf, and weightlifting have already returned to Rarotonga.

  • Losirene Lacanivalu in Honiara