Covid-19 in the Pacific – Nauru reports first two cases in quarantine

Nauru President Lionel Aingimea
Nauru President Lionel Aingimea ... "Both people are well and do not have any symptoms." Image: Nauru FB

RNZ Pacific

A roundup today of the covid-19 pandemic status around the Pacific.

President Lionel Aingimea has announced that Nauru has recorded its first two covid-19 cases, which were detected in quarantine.

In a public address, the President assured the community that the two cases were safely contained in quarantine. As such, Nauru remained safe and there was no cause for anyone to panic.

The two cases both travelled on the same flight, from Brisbane on March 31.

“Both people are well and do not have any symptoms and are being cared for by the medical team in the covid ward,” President Aingimea said.

Two other people were also being quarantined in the Covid Ward. One of them is the spouse of one of the cases, and they had travelled together.

The hospital laboratory has detected low levels of virus in this person which appeared to be decreasing.

The fourth person had a borderline result on April 1. They were put in isolation in the Acute Ward. This person tested negative yesterday but will remain under observation for now.

Samoa’s Ministry of Health has confirmed 245 new community cases in a 24 hour period.

The ministry said 583 people had recovered and 1493 remained active cases.

Upolu island still has the majority of cases with 97 percent.

The ministry also said that covid-19 infections were significantly higher among those aged from 15 to 35, but infections among children aged 4 and below were also increasing.

Four new border cases were recorded on a flight from New Zealand on Tuesday.

According to the ministry, the community cases were of the BA1 sub lineage of the omicron covid variant.

Samoa also recorded its first covid-related death this week.

The Kiribati government has extended its curfew for another four weeks.

The Office of the President said the new curfew order was intended for South Tarawa, Betio, Buota, North Tarawa, Abaiang, Marakei, Maiana, Aranuka and Abemama.

Travel from Tarawa to the covid-free outer islands will also resume, but with strict safety procedures in place.

The government has also allowed church services to resume, but face masks will be mandatory.

A Parliament session will be convened, as planned, and gatherings outdoors remain limited to 20 people.

According to the WHO, Kiribati has had 3066 cases in total and 13 covid-related deaths.

Tonga’s lockdown restrictions are easing. Restaurants and food outlets are opening for the first time in two weeks, but with only takeaway options allowed.

According to new lockdown rules introduced by Tonga’s government, businesses can operate between 5am to 8pm until Monday.

Since March 20 most Tongan businesses, including all shops and gas stations, had only been allowed to open on Saturdays.

However, bars and liquor stores will still be prohibited from opening.

The owner of the Billfish Restaurant and Bar in Nuku’alofa, Robert Sullivan, said that bars had been totally ignored.

“Bars have not even been mentioned. We’ve closed since February 2. So bars have not been open since then in Tonga, and any bars and all their employees will be struggling quite a lot right now because we still have bills, we still have rents, we still have the products that we’ve already purchased,” Sullivan said.

The majority of bars are still trying to pay their staff we’ve what they have, and this can’t continue.”

Tonga has been in lockdown since February 2 and a border closure has been in effect since the onset of the covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

The Minister of Health, Saia Piukala, announced this week that six covid-19 deaths had been recorded in the kingdom, and that more than 6000 Tongans had tested positive for covid-19.

New Caledonia
A total of 15 new cases of covid-19 have been recorded in New Caledonia, since Thusday afternoon.

The covid-19 death toll remains at 311.

Nine people are in hospital and 1 person is in ICU.

Sixty six percent of the population is vaccinated.

French Polynesia
One new covid-19 related death has been recorded in French Polynesia, bringing the total number of deaths since December last year to 11.

The total number of active cases over the territory is 381, and 123 new cases of covid-19 have been detected.

Four people are in hospital and one person is in ICU.

Eighty percent of the population is vaccinated.

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

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