New covid-19 cases in Tahiti raises tally to 820 – 6 fresh cases in NZ

Union meeting Tahiti
Social distancing at a French Polynesian union meeting that decided not to press ahead with a general strike. Image:

By RNZ Pacific

French Polynesia has recorded another 47 covid-19 cases, raising the tally to 820.

Health officials report that 758 of them were recorded since the borders reopened in July and international tourism resumed.

Most cases are in urban areas of Tahiti, but also in Bora Bora, Raiatea, Huahine and Hao.

The first outbreak between March and June, which affected 62 people, was brought under control with a lockdown and border closures.

Unions dropped their threats of a general strike despite the government being adamant it would not reintroduce a two-week quarantine for arriving travellers.

However, the government agreed to pay salaries for workers forced to isolate after employers said they could not bear the cost.

A unionist Patrick Galenon said during the meeting they were told that the authorities hoped that there would eventually be collective immunity.

He said they were also told that statistically there was now a higher risk of covid-19 infection within the community than from arriving travellers.

Māori public health worker infected
In New Zealand, RNZ News reports that a Māori public health group in west Auckland has confirmed one of its employees has tested positive for covid-19.

Hāpai Te Hauora is a non-clinical public health service based in Henderson that advocates for better Māori health policy.

In a statement, it said a staff member was in self-isolation after being diagnosed with covid-19.

It said most of its staff had continued working from home under alert level 2, with precautions in place for those needing to use the office spaces, so the risk of spread to other kaimahi was low.

Auckland Regional Public Health Services (ARPHS) said it had identified the person’s close contacts, and they had been contacted and advised to get tested and to self-isolate for a full 14 days.

Six new cases in NZ
The Ministry of Health said there were six new cases of covid-19 in New Zealand today, all in the community.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said they were all linked to the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship Church group.

He said all members of the church group were being asked to be re-tested, even if they had no symptoms.

Four of the new cases were part of the group of 14 that were associated with a new event, a series of bereavement activities, that werre linked to the Mt Roskill cluster, Dr Bloomfield said.

He said all close contacts of the group were in self-isolation.

One of the cases reported yesterday was a student at St Dominic’s Catholic College who attended school last Friday, Dr Bloomfield said.

He added that a testing regime was being set up for the school and information on the testing will be provided by the ARPHS.

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

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