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Monday 20 June 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in Pacific Islands, Regional


Nauru records first community Covid-19 cases
Nauru hospital. Photo: RNZ

Nauru is now battling its first Covid-19 outbreak in the community.

337 people have tested positive for Covid-19 so far on Nauru.

Government information office director Joanna Olsson said there have only been 13 other cases detected at the border so far.

They were detected in hotel quarantine from incoming travellers on 31 March, but test results came on April 1. They were all contained in quarantine facilities and have since recovered.

In this outbreak, the first of its kind in the community, three were initially detected on Friday, June 17.

President Lionel Aingimea, said the cases are either in quarantine facilities, at home, or at the negative pressure Acute Care Unit.

There are 261 cases in quarantine facilities, including children and their carers.

President Aingimea said the quarantine facilities are almost full and soon authorities will rely on home isolation.

USP Chancellor and Nauru President Lionel Aingimea.
President Lionel Aingimea Photo: Facebook/Fiji Parliament

The government has mobilised welfare support, and an ex-gratia payment will be paid to the government and SOE employees, pensioners, and disability recipients to assist people during this period.

Car wash services have been suspended in a bid to slow down the spread of the virus.

Mr Aingimea said overcrowding and queuing at car wash stations are an opportunity for the virus to spread.

Nauru's vaccination rate here is very high, at 98 percent.

Food stalls and street vendors can sell food, but people are asked to wear masks, and gloves and maintain a social distance of at least 1.5 meters from each.

Car wash services have been labelled non-essential and have been asked to temporarily suspend business operations.

The Nauru government said overcrowding and queuing at car wash stations are an opportunity for the virus to transmit.