TC Harold could further intensify and move towards Vanuatu

At 11am local time, Tropical Cyclone Harold (990hPa) Cat1 moved into Vanuatu's area of responsibility and was located near 10.8S 161.1E. Tropical Cyclone

The latest alert said Harold is positioned at the bottom left of square letter A of the Vanuatu Tropical Cyclone Tracking Map.

This is about 195KM southeast of Honiara. In the past 6 hours, the system was moving in an east southeasterly direction at 34KM/HR.

Gale force winds of 70KM/HR increasing to 90KM/HR are expected within 85 Nautical miles from its centre.

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.

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).

Vanuatu implements Food Security Response Plan COVID-19

The priority actions include the Commercial Food Basket where supply of local produce is made accessible to urban households at an affordable price.

DARD is working in partnership with some key farmers on Efate and commercial farms to gather the supply of fresh produce and has been on sale at the Sepeta Warehouse at Tagabe DARD station to the general public since 27 March 2020.

Bad weather in Vanuatu could develop into a Tropical Cyclone

The New Zealand Meteorology Service said the low is expected to deepen further while moving close to Vanuatu this weekend.

It said the chance for the system to develop into a Tropical Cyclone on Saturday remains high.

Vanuatu can expect, gales, large waves, heavy rain and flooding to affect the northern and central parts of Vanuatu during the weekend, and the remaining areas early next week as the system tracks southeast across Vanuatu.


Luganville Mayor warns shops against price-gouging

Last week the government declared a State of Emergency to help keep the country free of the Covid-19 virus.

His warning follows a directive from caretaker Prime Minister Charlot Salwai that businesses must not take advantage of the situation by raising their prices.

The Vanuatu Daily Post reports the mayor, Peter Patty, sent council officers to inspect shops and they found that some had hiked their prices.

Mr Patty said he will send letters to all shops in Luganville with a final warning.

Vanuatu mourns artist Francis Rurunavira

The Daily Post reports Mr Rurunavira was a member of the Wan Smolbag theatre company since 1994 and a founding member of the Rainbow Disability Theatre group.

He also represented Vanuatu at para table tennis, including at the 2017 Mini Games.

Wan Smolbag said Mr Rurunavira made tremendous contributions throughout Vanuatu, especially in addressing the rights of people with special needs.

The Vanuatu Paralympic Committee said he made a difference to the lives of disabled people across Vanuatu.

Vanuatu implements curfew during State of Emergency

The curfew will be in force from 9pm until 4am throughout the period of the State of Emergency.

People are required to remain in their homes and premises during these hours unless for emergency purposes, health reasons or for performing a function related to an essential service.

The curfew is part of the strict measures introduced to keep the public safe and help to prevent and prepare for Covid-19.

The curfew is being imposed after consultation with the Council of Ministers

No COVID-19 cases in Vanuatu

The latest situation report released today (Wednesday) has also confirmed that there are no suspected cases of COVID-19.

There are no samples awaiting testing.

The last tests for six samples were sent to New Caledonia on 25 March and they all returned negative.

The two-week State of Emergency was declared on 26 March by President Tallis Obed Moses.  



Photo RNZ Pacific      

Vanuatu Government announces major economic stimulus package

Caretaker Prime Minister Charlot Salwai officially announced a major economic stimulus package Tuesday to support the economy through these difficult times and bring some comfort to many who are already struggling.

“The global spread of COVID-19 pandemic presents a potentially catastrophic outlook for both public health and the economy,” he said in his official statement.