Pacific coronavirus: Ninth case in New Caledonia, fourth in Fiji confirmed

Noumea police
Noumea police checking and warning motorists amid the Covid-19 lockdown. Image: Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes

By RNZ Pacific

New Caledonia has recorded a further two Covid-19 cases, bringing its total to nine.

Few details have been released but a government spokesperson said the last three cases related to either people who had arrived in the territory or had been in contact with people confirmed to have carried the virus.

More than 1000 people have been in isolation in hotels, but some of them have been allowed to leave under strict conditions.

READ MORE: Al Jazeera coronavirus live updates – US has third largest death toll behind China and Italy as WHO warns it could be the next epicentre

Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes newspaper front page today.

Restrictions on movements have been in force in the French territory since Monday midnight.

To cope with the economic impact, the government has asked France to give it USUS0.5 billion as a gesture of national solidarity.

The government has assured the public that there is no shortage of supplies and that cash machines will remain stocked.

Restrictions came into force yesterday, meaning all meetings and events will be banned for two weeks.

Fourth case in Fiji confirmed
Fiji has recorded its fourth case of Covid-19 and it is unrelated to the other three patients.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said the latest patient was a man who had returned from Australia last weekend.

He said the man travelled from Sydney to Suva, and was unrelated to the country’s three other cases in Lautoka.

“He was advised by health officials at the airport to go straight home and self-quarantine for 14 days,” Bainimarama said.

“It appears this gentleman did everything right.

“He followed instructions, he was educated on the symptoms and most importantly he was diligent in protecting his loved ones.”

The Prime Minister said the man’s family was now in isolation at Navua Hospital.

Call for self-quarantine
The government urged anyone who was on Fiji Airways flight FJ1916 from Sydney to Nadi last Saturday to place themselves into self-quarantine.

The government was already trying to find 43 passengers who shared flights with the man confirmed as the country’s first Covid-19 case.

The Fiji Sun published a page naming the passengers on the flight, calling for help in tracing them.

The Ministry of Health has been in contact with other passengers over their whereabouts and health since the flights on March 16 and 17, between San Francisco and Nadi, and Nadi and Auckland.

A flight attendant on those flights was the first confirmed case, while his mother was the second and his one-year-old nephew was the third.

In Samoa, a total of seven suspected Covid-19 cases were under investigation and awaiting test results.

The patients’ samples have been sent to a laboratory in New Zealand for testing.

This article is republished by the Pacific Media Centre under a partnership agreement with RNZ.

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs)
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