COVID-19 pandemic

Pacific pharmacists reaching out to communities during lockdown

The Pacific Pharmacists Association is a pharmaceutical workforce that aims to meet the health needs of Pacific people in accordance with their culture, custom and heritage.

Auckland is currently on alert level three, while the rest of New Zealand is on alert level two. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said the settings would be reviewed on 21 August.

Japan suffers its biggest economic slump on record

The world's third largest economy saw gross domestic product fall 7.8 percent in April-June from the previous quarter, or 27.8 percent on an annualised basis.

Japan was already struggling with low economic growth before the crisis.

The figures released today are a stark reminder of the severe financial impact faced by countries around the world.

Japan slipped into recession earlier this year following two successive quarters of economic contraction.

New Fiji Rugby chair keen to forge closer ties with NZ, Australia

Fiji Rugby announced in April it was cutting costs in an attempt to manage the financial fallout from the coronavirus.

Conway Beg was appointed to the FRU Board late last month by the Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, who is also President of the rugby union.

The pandemic was causing upheaval with sporting organisations all over the world and Fiji Rugby was no different.

Rugby and Netball hit by Covid-19 restrictions

The government annnonced Tuesday night that Auckland will return to Alert Level 3 at midday Wednesday, following the discovery of four positive cases of Covid-19 in one south Auckland family.

The rest of the country will move into Alert Level 2.

The government said at this stage Alert Level 3 would finish at midnight Friday.

While the Crusaders had already been awarded the title, their game against the Blues at Eden Park on Sunday was a sell out.

Australia's Northern Territory extends border restrictions for virus hotspots

Australia is battling a second wave in its south-east, with about 8000 active cases in Melbourne and smaller clusters in Sydney.

But elsewhere around the country, the virus has effectively been eliminated.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said interstate travel restrictions will likely persist until Christmas.

Last week, Queensland re-closed its borders to New South Wales - which includes Sydney - and the Australian Capital Territory.

Pacific climate warriors call for a 'just recovery'

Patricia Mallam, of the 350 Pacific organisation, said the climate crisis had not slowed or gone away.

Mallam said Pacific government priorities were more geared towards helping health systems to address the pandemic.

"It's a shame that it took a pandemic for us to see clearly where allegiances lie," she said.

"While governments and industries are figuring out an economic recovery, we want to remind them that you need to put the people first and we're talking about the health of the people and that also includes the environment that they're in."

Pacific to talk about how to reopen amid Covid-19

The virtual roundtable is being convened by the United Nations and the Asian Development Bank with representatives from Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Fiji.

The UN's Sanaka Samarasinha said the discussion would be addressing border security.

Nations heading in wrong direction with COVID-19, says WHO

Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, "too many countries [were] headed in the wrong direction".

Cases were rising where proven measures were not adopted or followed, he added.

The Americas are the current epicentre of the pandemic. The US has seen a rise in cases amid tensions between health experts and President Donald Trump.

The US, the worst affected country, has over 3.3 million confirmed casesĀ and more than 135,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

What has the WHO said?

Qantas to cut at least 6000 jobs

Another 15,000 employees will continue to be stood down without pay over the coming months, particularly those associated with its international operations, as the pandemic prevents almost all international travel.

Chief executive Alan Joyce said the decision was painful to make, but also necessary if the airline was to survive the impact of the pandemic.

In a release to the Australian Stock Exchange, Qantas said about 100 of its aircraft would be grounded for up to 12 months, with some for longer.

No saliva to shine the ball in cricket

Several other interim measures designed to ensure the safety of players and match officials have been ratified by the ICC Chief Executives Committee -- including allowing home umpires in international series.

International cricket will resume next month when West Indies face England in a three-match test series.

The tourists arived in Manchester today and will go into quarantine before the first game scheduled for July 8th.