Covid trends around the Pacific – deaths, lockdown and easing rules

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A covid-19 vaccination site in Northern Marianas
A covid-19 vaccination site in Northern Marianas. Image: Mark Rabago/RNZ Pacific

RNZ Pacific

A snapshot of how the covid-19 pandemic is impacting on Pacific nations and territories today:

Second Covid-19 death in American Samoa
American Samoa has recorded its second covid-19 related death.

The death was of a woman in her mid-50s, who also had pre-existing health conditions.

Over the weekend, 265 cases were recorded, bringing the total number of active covid cases to 2779.

Seven people are in hospital with covid-19.

Vanuatu health authorities record 296 new positive cases
Vanuatu Minister of Health Bruno Leingkon announced that 2577 covid-19 cases have been recorded.

Five people have been hospitalised for Covid-related illnesses. But there have been no Covid-related deaths in Vanuatu, which remains under alert level 3.

The lockdown has been extended for a further five days.

Samoa records more community cases
Samoa now has a total of 1239 active community cases of covid-19, as another 182 people tested positive.

The Ministry of Health said 97 percent of community cases are located in Upolu and the remaining 3 percent in Savai’i.

No community cases have been recorded in the islands of Manono and Apolima Tai.

The ministry said women make up 58 percent of confirmed community cases and 15 to 35 year olds have recorded the most infections.

No additional cases have been detected at the border.

Mandatory testing for travellers to Tahiti to be abolished
Although another 190 covid-19 cases have been recorded in French Polynesia in the last 48 hours, Tahiti is easing testing requirements for travellers.

The electronic registration system for travellers, as well as mandatory tests for arriving passengers at Tahiti’s airport, will be abolished from tomorrow.

The health authorities say six patients are in hospital, but none are in intensive care.

The number of active cases has continued to decline and is now 516.

The death toll stands at over 640, with most of the fatalities occuring during last year’s delta variant outbreak.

Two in intensive care in New Caledonia
New Caledonia has recorded another 32 covid-19 cases, confirming the trend of declining numbers.

The latest figure, issued on Friday, brings the total number of cases since September to 60,167.

Sixteen covid patients have been hospitalised, 2 of whom are in intensive care.

From today it will be possible to visit patients in hospitals and care centres without a health pass, although masks must still be worn.

Masks are no longer mandatory to be worn in public, but their continued use is recommended.

So far the pandemic has claimed 310 lives in New Caledonia, all of them during the delta outbreak in September.

CNMI drops indoor masking requirement
The Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas will no longer require people to wear face masks indoors.

The governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) have downgraded the US territory’s CDC community level from high to medium.

Local health authorities have cautioned immunocompromised individuals to still wear masks indoors. The same advice stands for people whose family members are immunocompromised.

“In Community Level Medium, people who are considered immunocompromised or at high risk for severe illness should talk to their healthcare provider about whether they need to wear a mask and take other precautions. Also, people who live with or have social contact with immunocompromised individuals should wear a mask when indoors with them,” the CHCC said in a statement.

The CHCC also said it would continue to require visitors and clinic patients to wear masks in patient-serving areas.

Last Thursday, the task force and CHCC also confirmed the CNMI’s 33rd Covid-19-related death.

Twenty six additional cases have been recorded, bringing the CNMI total to 11,022 cases since March 28, 2020.

All 26 cases were identified on March 24, 2022. As of March 25, 2022, three individuals have been hospitalised from covid-19.

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

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