COVID-19

French Polynesia Covid-19 tally rises to 34

The update from the government said the hospitalisation rate is unchanged with one person in care.

Last night a curfew was declared for the first time, forcing residents across all islands to stay indoor from 8pm to 5am.

The curfew will be in place until 15 April, and anyone caught breaching it can be fined at least $US150 and risks one year in prison.

The curfew was foreshadowed last weekend when movements were restricted, and the public was warned of a possible complete lockdown.

Coronavirus: More than 900 deaths in a day in Italy

It means 9134 people have now died from the virus in the country.

Earlier World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said a "chronic global shortage" of protective equipment was one of the "most urgent threats" to the ability to save lives.

Italy is the worst-affected in Europe. Almost everything has been closed and people told to stay at home.

Earlier on Friday, authorities warned that restrictions were likely to be extended beyond 3 April.

     

Covid-19: US cases exceed 100,000, doctors plead for more drugs, equipment

Physicians have called particular attention to a desperate need for additional ventilators, machines that help patients breathe and are widely needed for those suffering from Covid-19, the respiratory ailment caused by the highly contagious novel coronavirus.

Hospitals in New York City, New Orleans, Detroit and other virus hot spots have also sounded the alarm about scarcities of drugs, medical supplies and trained staff while the number of confirmed US cases rose by about 18,000 on Friday, the highest jump in a single day, to more than 103,000.

Rapa Nui confirms second case of Covid-19

The president of Rapa Nui's indigenous Ma'u Henua community said the case was confirmed today following a first case two days ago.

Camilo Rapu said it was not known how the first person, a Chilean woman living on the island, contracted the illness as she had not been overseas or believed to be in contact with an infected person.

Mr Rapu said none of the woman's family was showing any symptoms.

Nothing was known yet about the second case as the community was in isolation.

Covid-19 death reported in West Papua

It's the first recorded death from Covid-19 in the Papua region, and adds to fears that a looming surge in cases could overwhelm the health system on both sides of New Guinea.

The death was recorded in Sorong, the western most city of New Guinea. Tabloid Jubi reports the death was confirmed by West Papua's Task Force Covid-19.

The victim had been a patient at a hospital in Sorong city, where another five patients remained under supervision for suspected coronavirus infection.

Academic predicts fast formation of Vanuatu government

The Vanuatu Electoral Commission had suffered multiple setbacks to announcing the official election results, with the sudden death of its

chairman Martin Tete this week.

Prior to that, extreme weather set polling back a day in the southern provinces.

Brisbane-based adjunct professor for Asia and the Pacific at Griffith, Tess Newton Cain, who is a Vanuatu citizen, has been following the election

closely.

She said based on unofficial election results four major parties had emerged with similar numbers of MPs - namely Graon Mo Jastis, Reunification

Latest New Zealand government travel advisory

If passengers are symptomatic or unable to present a credible self-isolation plan, they will be placed in managed isolation at an approved facility.

The New Zealand borders are closed to incoming transit passengers. Immigration New Zealand will not allow uplift for any passenger who are scheduled to enter the New Zealand transit area after 0200 Thursday 26 March NZT.

NHS uses tech giants to plan crisis response

The goal is to help health chiefs model the consequences of moving resources to best tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Three US tech firms are aiding the effort - Amazon, Microsoft and Palantir - as well as London-based Faculty AI.

The plan is expected to be signed off by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

"Every hospital is going to be thinking: Have we got enough ventilators? Well we need to keep ours because who knows what's going to happen - and that might not be the optimal allocation of ventilators," explained a source in one of the tech companies involved.

Courteney Cox's Friends are there for her in coronavirus isolation

Cox told TV host Jimmy Kimmel she remembered very little about the hit sitcom in which she played Monica for a decade.

"People love the show so much, I decided to binge watch Friends... it's really good!" she said via video link.

"I don't remember even being on the show, I have such a bad memory."

She added: "I remember obviously loving everybody there and having fun and I remember certain times of my life I was there, but I don't remember episodes."

Visits at French Polynesia's prisons suspended

The French High Commission said inmates would instead be allotted phone time to communicate with their friends and families.

The High Commission said some inmates might be released early, but that would not be considered if the individual was a risk to the public.

Last month, France was found guilty in the European Court of Human Rights of breaching the human rights of prisoners in Tahiti by treating them in a degrading manner.