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Covid-19 stories in the Pacific

Tuesday 8 February 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in Pacific Islands, Regional

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Covid-19 stories in the Pacific

There are now thirteen active cases of Covid-19 in Tonga.

There are now thirteen active cases of Covid-19 in Tonga.

The Government announced six new cases this morning - four from the village of Vaini and two from the village of Pili.

Road blocks have been set up at the villages requiring anyone passing through to be tested.

One man - who originally tested positive for Covid-19 - has since tested negative but remains in quarantine while further test results are confirmed.

Over 1,700 have tested posted for Covid-19 in Kiribati

Covid-19 cases continue to rise in Kiribati as the country recorded another 201 infections on Monday.

There are now over 1,700 people who have tested positive throughout the atoll islands.

The Health and Medical Services Ministry has confirmed the new community cases were recorded on South Tarawa, Betio and Buota through PCR lab tests.

They say that an 80-year-old woman who was admitted at the isolation center is still hospitalized.

Meanwhile, authorities are continuing to advise all Covid-19 positive people to home quarantine.

New Caledonia records 2,848 Covid-19 cases over the past three days

New Caledonia has recorded a further 2,848 Covid-19 cases over the past three days, raising the number of active cases to more than 10,000.

32 people are now in hospital, including two in intensive care.

The spread of the Omicron variant started a month ago and is yet to peak.

Last week, Paris declared a health emergency in New Caledonia but the French High Commission in Noumea has decided against tougher measures and against another lockdown.

Restrictions have been in place, limiting the size of meetings and upholding mask wearing obligation.

In view of the wide propagation of the virus, the New Caledonian government is considering scrapping the seven-day self-isolation requirement for travellers arriving from abroad.

Covid-19 numbers continue to surge in French Polynesia

French Polynesia has reported another 1144 Covid-19 infections for the past 72-hour period.

The pandemic is continuing its surge, with case numbers doubling in less than a week.

The authorities say there are now 2,974 active cases.

Another person has died, which is the first Covid-19 related fatality since October.

The Delta outbreak in August was much worse as it quickly claimed hundreds of lives.

Almost 79 percent of those 12 years and older have been vaccinated.

At the weekend, inoculations were started for children aged five and older.

Medical services are stretched because of a rapid spread of Covid-19

Medical services are stretched because of a rapid spread of Covid-19 Photo: FB French High Commission in French Polynesia

From this week, the French vaccine pass is in use for those 16 years and older, replacing the health pass needed for access to venues and events.

Unvaccinated people are excluded from restaurants, sports arenas and other venues, and inter-island travel.

The CNMI now 3rd in Covid-19 cases in US

The CNMI is now 3rd in the US in terms of Covid-19 case rate with 150 cases per 100,000 people.

The rise in cases is being blamed on the emergence of the Omicron variant on the islands, according to Stephanie Kern-Allely, Pacific Island Health Officers Association regional communicable disease epidemiologist.

Kern-Allely said Guam is at No. 2 with about 378 cases per 100,000 people. She did not mention which state is at No. 1.

Last week, the Commonwealth Health Care Corporation confirmed that multiple Covid-19 samples sent in to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were identified as the Omicron variant.

The CNMI has already started to see an increase in cases over the weekend.

In the latest news report, 204 additional individuals were confirmed positive for Covid-19, bringing the CNMI total to 5,891 cases since March 26, 2020.

Flights into Vanuatu delayed

Two repatriation flights scheduled to arrive in Vanuatu from Auckland and Noumea this past weekend were postponed becasue of high levels of omicron in the two cities.

The postponed repatriation flights happened just as Vanuatu has stepped up its measures to improve the safety of frontline workers with renovations for arrivals at Port Vila International Airport.

The improvements aim to prevent frontline staff contracting the virus from passengers and include 10 protected booths for immigration, customs, and biosecurity staff as well as improved ventilation.

Pfizer Covid-19 Paediatric Vaccine roll-out continues in the Cook Islands

In the Cook Islands a total of 1148 children aged between 5 and 11 years received their first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 Paediatric Vaccine late last week.

It means nearly 80 percent of the children in this age on Rarotonga have a first dose.

The Secretary of Health Bob Williams said he is very proud of the way the parents, grandparents and guardians of mobilised and brought their young ones along to get the vaccine.

The paediatric vaccinations are continuing today on Aitutaki at the local hospital.