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Rakahanga, Manihiki report Covid-19 cases

Thursday 11 August 2022 | Written by Matthew Littlewood | Published in Health, National

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Rakahanga, Manihiki report Covid-19 cases
Photo: COOK ISLANDS TOURISM/21041618

Covid-19 has now spread into Rakahanga and Manihiki.

Secretary of Health Bob Williams confirmed there had been 14 cases on Manihiki and nine on Rakahanga as of Wednesday.

“We were notified yesterday (Tuesday) but it may have started on August 1,” Williams said.

“The same processes and relevant teams and the island government have been active. We may deploy support staff end of week depending on the spread of the outbreak.”

The confirmation means that of the Pa Enua (outer islands), only Palmerston Island and Pukapuka/Nassau have yet to have a case of Covid-19.

The bulk of the cases have occurred in Rarotonga, with 5086 recorded on the main island so far.

Earlier this month, an outbreak was reported at Mangaia. Since then, there have been 218 cases on that island, with nine still active.

However, Williams said because Mangaia’s daily case numbers have been trending downwards, it is likely that the health orders – which include restrictions on gathering sizes, mandated mask wearing in public spaces, and compulsory Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) for people playing contact sports – will be stopped at the end of the month.

The Cook Islands Covid-19 webpage says since the pandemic began, there have been 6135 cases of Covid-19 in the Cook Islands. However as of Wednesday, it had not been updated to include the Manihiki or Rakahanga cases.