Visitors land at Mangaia airport. Photo: FILE/SUPPLIED/22021512
Health orders in Mangaia will be dropped this weekend.
The island, which has recorded 218 cases since the beginning of August, has just one active case.
which include mandatory mask wearing, restrictions on indoor and outdoor
gathering sizes, and compulsory Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT testing) for people
playing contact sports, have been in place.
of Health Bob Williams confirmed that all of those health orders will be
dropped this weekend.
council executive officer Anthony Whyte said he was pleased to hear the news.
“At the end of the
day, it’s up to Te Marae Ora (TMO) to make the call, and if they think the time
is right, then that’s great news. We seem to be fairly clear of Covid-19 now.
At the moment, we’re still carrying out our testing, but it appears to have fizzled
out,” Whyte said.
Whyte said there
were estimates that more than half the island had caught Covid-19 since the
outbreak first occurred on the island.
“There was also a
really bad strain of the flu going on just before the official outbreak, it
could well have been that some of those who thought they had the flu and stayed
home actually had Covid-19,” he said.
the pandemic as “hitting everyone at once”.
“Prior to the
outbreak, we had done all sorts of contingency planning and modelling as to
what would happen should the pandemic reach our island,” he said.
“Well, no one had
prepared for pretty much our entire workforce to be wiped out for a week. You
can do all the planning you want, but it’s not going to replicate a situation
where pretty much everyone is sick.”
Whyte said given
the extent of the outbreak, he was surprised there were no hospitalisations or
“We seemed to come
through it relatively unscathed. We had all these resources such as our
hospital and health centre, but touch wood, we didn’t have to use them for
Covid-19,” he said.
Whyte said most
people complied with the health orders, although there were a “small number” of
people who “tried to avoid them”.
“We had some
really good security people checking up on houses that had red flags to ensure
people were staying at home, and weren’t going out for fishing or whatever,” he
pandemic continues in Manihiki and Rakahanga with 20 cases in weekend for Manihiki and two for
remain in place for both islands, and are officially set to expire on September
23, although this could change.
Williams said he
was also pleased that “almost 500” people in Rarotonga completed the latest booster
shot over the weekend.
According to the
Cook Islands Covid-19 website, there have been 6240 cases since the pandemic
began, with 78 of those cases still active.