NZ pledges $1m for WHO in coronavirus support to Pacific

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New Zealand is partnering with countries in the Pacific to ensure they are prepared for, and able to respond to, the global threat of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Image: RNZ/AFP

Pacific Media Watch

New Zealand is providing NZ$1 million to the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Suva, Fiji, to support its Pacific Action Plan for Covid-19 coronavirus preparedness and response.

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is partnering with countries in the Pacific to ensure they are prepared for, and able to respond to the global threat of the infectious disease.

“There are currently no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Pacific, but it is vital that New Zealand is working hard in partnership with our neighbours to ensure the region is safe and as prepared as can be,” Peters said.

READ MORE: NZ foreign minister delays Pacific mission

However, Fiji health authorities reported today that there were four people suspected of being infected by the virus were in isolation and Tonga also reported a suspected case.

New Zealand is jointly funding the WHO Pacific regional coronavirus response plan, in partnership with Australia, in response to requests for assistance from Pacific island countries.

The New Zealand government has also signed a contract with the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) for countries in the South Pacific to send samples of potential Covid-19 cases to ESR’s laboratory in New Zealand for testing, free of charge.

Supporting the realm countries has been another focus of New Zealand’s preparations related to coronavirus.

“In partnership with the WHO, New Zealand has deployed a team to Cook Islands to support Covid-19 preparedness, with further joint trips planned to Tokelau and Niue from next week,” Peters said.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade media release and RNZ News.

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