COVID-19 vs climate change: What can we learn?

The Regional Director for Environment Programs at The Asia Foundation, Kim DeRidder, says with humans indoors, deer and monkeys are venturing out to explore Asia’s now empty urban jungles, songbirds are heard in cities and great leatherback turtles are laying eggs on Phuket beaches in record numbers.

“But is COVID-19 really a boon for the environment?  The jury is still out. While greenhouse gas emissions are significantly down, both China and the United States are already relaxing emission controls to ease economic pressures,” DeRidder states.


NZ Pacific residents advised to check in about travel to the Pacific

Some Pacific countries are considering opening borders for repatriation and commercial flights.

The Ministry notes that requests for COVID-19 testing and quarantine for Pacific residents such as regional seasonal employment workers are being received by some District Health Boards and primary care providers.

The Ministry says it's working to ensure there's a consistent approach nationally that considers the risk of coronavirus as well as the health and welfare of Pacific peoples looking to return home.

Australia provides 350 million Vatu to Vanuatu’s COVID-19 stimulus package

The package, implemented by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management, is designed to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 in Vanuatu.

At a signing ceremony witnessed by the executive of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management, Minister Koanapo thanked the Australian High Commissioner for Australia’s support.

Fiji clears last COVID-19 patient

Bainimarama shared on his official twitter account that although Fiji’s testing numbers are climbing by the day, it’s now been 45 days since the country recorded its last case of coronavirus.

He adds that there have been no COVID-19 deaths and Fiji has recorded a 100% recovery rate through answered prayers, hard work, and affirmation of science.

FBC reports the Prime Minister is expected to make an official announcement later today.


Three Windies players opt out of England tour over Covid fears

Cricket West Indies said batsmen Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer and all-rounder Keemo Paul declined to travel to England for the tour that is scheduled to start on July 8 behind closed doors, subject to government approval.

CWI also named 11 reserve players who will travel and quarantine with the squad to ensure replacements are readily available in case of injuries.

"The touring party, who will all be tested for COVID-19 this week, are scheduled to fly to England on private charters on June 8," CWI said in a statement.

Brazil now fourth-highest nation in Covid-19 deaths

Its figure of 28,834 has now surpassed France, and only the US, the UK and Italy have recorded more deaths.

President Jair Bolsonaro has consistently played down the outbreak, although the country has the world's second-highest number of cases.

He has criticised state lockdowns for harming Brazil's economy and jobs.

What are the latest figures?

Brazil's health ministry said the past 24 hours had seen 956 new deaths.

Belgian Prince Joachim tests positive after lockdown party

Prince Joachim, 28, travelled from Belgium to Spain for an internship on 26 May, the palace said.

Two days later, he went to a party in the southern city of Córdoba, before testing positive for Covid-19.

Spanish reports suggest the prince, a nephew of Belgium's King Philippe, was among 27 people at the party.

Under Córdoba's lockdown rules, a party of this size would be a breach of regulations, as gatherings of no more than 15 people are currently permitted.

No new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand for ninth straight day - Health Ministry

In a statement released this afternoon, the Ministry of Health said there were no new cases for the ninth straight day.

The total number of confirmed cases remains at 1154. The combined total of confirmed and probable cases is 1504.

There have been no further deaths.

After a week of no new cases, the number of active cases dropped to one on Friday.

There were 2111 tests carried out yesterday, and 280,983 have now been processed in total.



France to reopen cafes, bars and restaurants

A ban on travelling more than 100km (60 miles) has also been relaxed, but the bar on gatherings of more than 10 people remains.

"Freedom will become the rule, bans the exception," Mr Philippe said.

More than 28,000 people have died of the virus in France.

On Wednesday the death toll rose by less than 100 for the seventh day in a row.

France will look to reopen borders with other European countries on 15 June, he said.

Seed and planting programmes aiding Pacific nations

The SPC's Deputy Director, Audrey Aumua, said the requests for plant tissue, culture materials and vegetable seeds came through its 'Seeds For Life' programme.

This week, Dr Aumua handed over seed kits to the Fiji government in Suva during the launch of the Community's new regional initiatives under its Land Resources Division.

"A total of 166,000 kilogrammes of vegetable seeds and over 10,000 tissue culture seedlings and this request has come from our members," she said. "We are expecting much more."

Seeds For Life