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Aitutaki records major drop in Covid-19 cases

Saturday 14 May 2022 | Written by Matthew Littlewood | Published in National, Outer Islands


Aitutaki records major drop in Covid-19 cases
Tereapii Enua and Aitutaki Enua’s Vaeruarangi Ariki Tuaine George. Photo: Supplied/ 21030515.

Daily Covid-19 numbers remain low in the Cook Islands, with Aitutaki experiencing a major drop this week.

On Thursday, Aitutaki did not record a single case of Covid-19, after recording only one case on Wednesday, while Rarotonga recorded 13 cases on Thursday.

Atiu recorded seven new cases, while Mauke, Mitiaro and Penrhyn did not add to their totals.

Aitutaki island council executive officer Tuaine George said the general feeling on the island was that people were pleased with the numbers dropping, but “we can’t be complacent”.

“Tourists will arrive in large numbers again soon, and although the numbers are down at the moment, we can’t relax yet,” George said.

“I think Aitutaki can be proud of how it responded to the pandemic. The isolation orders were followed by all our cases, and everyone was very supportive as a community, delivering supplies and making sure people were okay.”

George said as the borders opened to more travellers around the world, there will likely be new variants of Covid-19 emerging.

“We simply don’t know how these different strains will behave,” he said.

“Particularly as the tourist ships (cruise) arrive, they could be carrying new strains of Covid-19.”

George said Te Marae Ora (TMO) Ministry of Health had been “incredibly proactive” in terms of its responses to Covid-19 cases on the island.

“We’ve got good isolation protocols, so I’m sure we will be able to work something out should the situation change.

“But for now, we can be happy with the way things are going.”

Since the pandemic began, there have been 5410 cases of Covid-19 in the Cook Islands, of which 4723 cases were in Rarotonga, 568 in Aitutaki, 112 in Atiu, three in Mauke and Penrhyn and one in Mitiaro.

There are 118 active cases.