Vanuatu’s health officials yet to reveal facts about first community covid case

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Vanuatu's Acting Director of Public Health Jenny Stephen
Vanuatu's Acting Director of Public Health Jenny Stephen ... "stay isolated until it is safe". Image: Vanuatu Daily Post

By Anita Roberts in Port Vila

Vanuatu’s Ministry of Health (MOH) has yet to inform the public on when, where and how the first person outside quarantine contracted covid-19 in the country’s first case of community transmission.

Acting Director of Public Health Jenny Stephen, said during a media conference that she could not give an update on this issue as this was yet to be determined.

However, she confirmed that the case is in quarantine and has mild symptoms only or asymptomatic, which was not severe.

As of Monday, 48 of the 120 close contacts of the first confirmed case had been sent to quarantine. Others were being traced and would also be isolated.

Acting Director Stephen said the quarantine expenses for the close contacts would be covered by the ministry through the emergency funds.

The Minister of Health, Bruno Leingkone, said the government would be increasing the number of quarantine facilities to accommodate close contacts and positive case.

Currently, some people are told to self-isolate at home due to insufficient space in quarantine, said Acting Director Stephen.

“They are advised to stay isolated until it is safe, and they should be following covid-19 protocols while isolating,” she said.

RNZ Pacific reports that Vanuatu health authorities have confirmed their first case of community transmission of covid-19, saying there are a total of 58 covid cases in the country and 10 of them are in the community.

Minister Leingkon said the community cases were discovered over the weekend after the Member of Parliament for Port Vila constituency, Anthony Yauko, had tested positive.

Anita Roberts is a Vanuatu Daily Post journalist. Republished with permission.

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