New Caledonia's Covid rates hit nearly 300

The latest figure, covering the past week, brings the total number of cases since September to 61,049.

The incidence of the virus is slightly higher than a month ago but down sharply since the peak in February.

The death toll remains at 312 - all of them died after the Delta variant entered the community in September.

The official update makes no mention of any Covid-19 patient still in hospital care.

Most pandemic-related restrictions have been lifted, but vaccinated travellers must still take a test two days after arrival.


Vanuatu church group demands government stops youth vax plan

Pastor Simon Lovo and Pastor Iven Marafi said the Commissioner of Police has already approved the march.

The Ministry of Education wants all children between 12 and 17 to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

The pastors said the government was not explaining the content of the vaccines, nor making public any known side effects.

The group claimed people have died after been vaccinated.

They said mandatory vaccination was depriving parents of their rights, and that there are other ways of combatting Covid-19.

Two MPs in Vanuatu want PM to stop mandatory Covid vaccination

Their lawyer, Jack Kilu wrote to the Attorney General, Kiel Loughman saying mandatory vaccination violates peoples' fundamental rights protected under the constitution.

Mr Kilu said some people do not wish to be vaccinated but the government and the Department of Health continue to demand that every eligible person must be vaccinated.

He said not only is there no legal basis for the mandatory push on vaccines, but it also appears to be a breach of fundamental rights and freedoms under article 5 of the constitution.

Covid-19 led to 15 million deaths globally, not the 5m reported - World Health Organisation

There were 14.9 million excess deaths associated with Covid-19 by the end of 2021, the UN body said on Thursday.

The official count of deaths directly attributable to Covid-19 and reported to WHO in that period, from January 2020 to the end of December 2021, is slightly more than 5.4m.

The WHO's excess mortality figures reflect people who died of Covid-19 as well as those who died as an indirect result of the outbreak, including people who could not access healthcare for other conditions when systems were overwhelmed during huge waves of infection.

Vanuatu Red Cross struggling to get vaccines to outer islands

Vanuatu has recorded more than 7,600 Covid-19 cases and 13 deaths since the beginning of the year - and has only 38 percent of its population fully vaccinated.

Secretary-general Dickinson Tevi said getting vaccines to other provinces and outer islands so that more ni-Vanuatu people are inoculated is a challenge for the authorities.

Tevi said the movement restrictions currently in place to stop the spread of community transmissions is also slowing down the process.

How Covid-scarred Shanghai will finally exit lockdown

So they've ordered a mass clean-up - an army of people disinfecting thousands of compounds and residential areas aiming to eradicate the virus.

Then China's financial capital will open up, but it will be gradual, tentative, cautious.

The brutal "war" against Omicron has left a scarred city. People as old as 100 were among those who tested positive and were taken to quarantine centres. There were very few exceptions.

Covid-19 reveals gaps in Kiribati's health care system

Doctors Without Borders, an international humanitarian medical non-governmental organisation, is leading the initiative which is responding to the Omicron outbreak that started in February.

Kiribati has recorded more than 3000 cases and 13 Covid-related deaths.

Medical coordinator Alison Jones said they're identifying gaps in the health care system.

Vanuatu mum gives birth at home because of Covid-19

RNZ Pacific's Vanuatu correspondent Hilaire Bule reported that Melsisi Health Centre on Pentecost was prevented from delivering babies because the Penama health team was using the facility for Covid-19 testing.

They discovered the Covid outbreak on Friday when 77 students at the island's Ranwadi Secondary School tested positive.

The mother successfully delivered her baby at home - only about 300 metres from the Melsisi Health Centre - with help from a traditional midwife but without the aid of the medical centre's nurses.

Efate curfew removed, some restriction’s eased

Several other measures have also been relaxed regarding public transport, sports events and church services.

Schools and business houses will resume normal operations on Monday with their Standard Operating Procedures

Mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing however, will remain mandatory.

Minister of Health, Bruno Leingkone said over 70 percent of the population are fully vaccinated and the number of new cases is declining.

Vanuatu recorded its first Covid-19 community outbreak on 9 March 2022.

The death toll is seven.

Shanghai lockdown: Whole communities relocated in anti-Covid drive

An official notice from local Communist Party officials in an area in the north of the city details orders to transfer residents to quarantine facilities more than 100 miles (160km) away.

The plan is to move people from their homes in Pingwang to the neighbouring province of Zhejiang, where they will stay for at least a week. Young children, the elderly and those with disabilities could be excluded, according to the notice.