62 held in quarantine in Vanuatu cleared of COVID-19 and released

According to authorities, their conditions were verified by health as coronavirus free and are now safe to be back with their families and friends.

“At the Quarantine Area, they have complied with all health regulations and have been well monitored. You’re all expected to see them back in the community with friends and families, as they are Covid-19 free,” a release said.

The travelers all received a World Health Organisation and Government of Vanuatu letter verifying their Covid-19 as negative and are now safe to be back in the community.

Concerns Covid-19 stresses could increase domestic violence in Pacific

A family advocate in Tonga said the national lockdown and closing of borders had added stress to many households.

Tonga is under a State of Emergency as the government attempted to keep the country Covid-19 free.

Tonga's Women & Children Crisis Centre Director, 'Ofa Guttenbeil Likiliki, said being in confinement could mean those already in violent relationships, could have their situation exacerbated.

She said the community would start to feel the economic crunch of the pandemic measures.

Vanuatu captain detained for breaking Covid-19 shipping rules

The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) authorised the MV Touaraken to sail from Port Vila to the island of Tanna with supplies of fuel and cargo.

But when the ferry docked at Tanna's Lenakel wharf, authorities found four passengers on board.

The Vanuatu Daily Post reported Tafea police detained the captain for 24 hours before he was allowed to sail back to Port Vila.

The four passengers have been isolated at Lenakel Hospital for 14 days.

Second Vanuatu COVID-19 suspected case turns out negative

Eight samples were to New Caledonia and all samples test received to date are negative.

COVID-19 Media Focal Person, Russel Tamata, confirmed the results and reminded the public to practice good hygiene.

 “With the pleasing results received so far, this does not mean that we have to lay back but continue work hard together and therefore calls on the public to remain vigilant and practice good hygiene and continue to maintain social distance at least one (1) metre apart.

COVID-19: Pacific Community Updates

Globally, nations are taking actions to reduce and control the spread of the virus. 

Between 31 March and 03 April 2020, 36 new cases have been confirmed in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs).

As of 03 April 2020, 6 countries (Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas (CNMI), Papua New Guinea, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam and New Caledonia) in the PICTs have reported 153 cases including 4 deaths, excluding the number of cases from USS Theodore Roosevelt currently docked in Guam.


In-country COVID-19 testing for 17 Pacific Island countries expected soon

According to the Director of the Public Health Division of the Pacific Community (SPC) Paula Vivili, only five countries currently are able to offer in-country testing.

These countries are Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea

123 arrested overnight for breaking curfew in Fiji

New curfew hours of 8pm to 5am were activated last (Friday) night.

Fijian Police Commissioner, Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho, said,” The high number of arrests made during the curfew hours from 8pm to 5am this morning is a shocking sign of disobedience in a time where we are needing everyone to listen, obey, comply and restrict movement and gatherings.”

One hundred and twenty-three (123) people were arrested during the nationwide curfew hours.

One suspected COVID-19 case in isolation in Vanuatu

The latest situation report released today (Friday) has also confirmed that there are no COVID-19 cases in the country.

Eight samples have been sent to Noumea, New Caledonia for testing today.

One sample is from the suspected case and the other seven samples are from individuals who displayed some symptoms but are not considered to be suspected cases because they did not fill the World Health Organisation case definition for COVID-19.

The seven samples are being tested as a precautionary measure only.

UN SG launches plan to address potentially devastating socio-economic impacts of COVID-19

The potential longer-term effects on the global economy and those of individual countries are dire.   In a new report, Shared responsibility, global solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, the United Nations Secretary-General calls on everyone to act together to address this impact and lessen the blow to people.

Coronavirus community awareness campaigns underway in Vanuatu

There have no been confirmed nor suspected cases of coronavirus COVID-19

Shefa Health has set up awareness teams, with activities to also target elsewhere in the province.

Other provincial teams in collaboration with Government departments (ie. Department of Water Resources, Ministry of Education and Training) and partners have established plans and have commenced activities in the provinces.

Teams are disseminating key messages (eg. 5 things to know, 5 things to do) and field questions, which are then used to revise awareness materials (eg. Questions and Answers).