New Caledonia reports first covid death – 117 cases in four days

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NZ President Louis Mapou
President Louis Mapou ... announced New Caledonia's first covid-19 death. Image: Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes

RNZ Pacific

New Caledonia has recorded its first death of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fatality was announced by territorial President Louis Mapou today in a televised address.

He said the victim was an elderly person — aged 75 — who had died in hospital.

The fatality comes four days after the first three cases of the latest community outbreak were detected.

Mapou said the delta variant crisis was unprecedented and the only means to counter the pandemic was vaccination.

He said another 51 infections had been detected in the past day, bringing the total to 117.

A lockdown has been in force since Tuesday.

New Caledonia’s members of the French legislature have asked France to send medical personnel because there were not enough specialists to staff the ICUs that had been set up.

In French Polynesia, a further three covid-19-related deaths were reported but health authorities say the latest wave appears to have peaked.

Almost 400 people have died since the surge of delta cases in late July, with the daily death toll reaching more than 20 two weeks ago.

However, the number of hospitalisations has remained high, with 303 covid-19 patients in care, 57 of them in ICUs.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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