Vanuatu avoids lockdown after Covid-19 quarantine cases

Two passengers on a flight from New Caledonia tested positive for the virus while in hotel quarantine last week.

There was widespread speculation the cases may trigger a hard lockdown in the country, after Government officials called off a popular music festival.

But the Prime Minister this morning announced there wouldn't be a lockdown.

Dr Sereana Natuman, acting director of curative and hospital services at Vila Central Hospital, said authorities acted quickly to prevent the virus from spreading.

No lockdown in Vanuatu Covid-19 simulation exercise

The simulation exercise will be conducted on Sunday and Monday.

There was speculation of a lockdown after two Covid-19 cases were detected in quarantine last weekend.

The implementation of the containment measures as part of the simulation exercise are aimed at testing the Covid-19 preparedness efforts of individuals, communities, organizations and government institutions that provide frontline of defense and response to this deadly disease.

Soil training for Vanuatu’s Agriculture Extension Officers

Whilst the EOs are working with local farmers to promote the agriculture sector, it is also vital for the officers to gain knowledge on the different types of soils and its nutrients as mass production of crops rely heavily on soils.

“This training is important as the EO will be able to access basic important information that will assist them to know more about their soils as soils control the growth of crops so that they can help their farmers to produce good yield,” Acting Soil Agronomist, Junior Salong said.

Vanuatu authorities seize 50kg kava powder from seasonal workers

Kava importation is prohibited in Australia. There is an exemption that allows passengers (18 years or over) to travel with up to 4kg of kava (roots or dried form) into Australia for personal use only.

It is alleged that a parliamentarian is using the seasonal workers as a means of getting the products into Australia in the form of commercialisation the Vanuatu Daily Post reports.

According to the Acting Principal Biosecurity Officer (PBO) of the DOB, Sam Armstrong, only those who have a valid kava export licence and export facility can export.

New Zealand expands one-way quarantine-free travel with Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and Tokelau

The change will see travellers from those countries and Tokelau who have the right to reside permanently in New Zealand and people covered by border exceptions, from 8 November.

“Travellers must be fully vaccinated, unless they are New Zealand citizens. RSE workers are currently required to have at least one dose, and will be required to be fully vaccinated from 1 January 2022,” said Covid-19 response Minister Chris Hipkins today.

Government probes passengers on cargo flight to Vanuatu

Two of the passengers were tested positive for Covid-19 during the routine testing at the quarantine facility in Port Vila on Sunday.

The Government’s Public Relations Officer in the Prime Minister’s Office, Fred Vurobaravu said they want to know why the passengers were allowed on the flight given New Caledonia has cases of the highly contagious Delta variant of Covid-19.

The French overseas territory has been under a lockdown since early September, due to the worsening Covid-19 crisis.

Vanuatu minister pleads guilty to drink driving

Esmon Saemon was detained for drink driving in December last year, after initially refusing to stop when was asked by police officers.

Judge Oliver Saksak will sentence the minister on November 30.


Ministries close in Port Vila as Covid threat looms

This comes after two Covid-19 cases were confirmed on arrival on a flight from New Caledonia.

The government public relations officer, Fred Vurobaravu, said the country's annual popular Fest' Napuan music festival, scheduled for this week in Vila, would be cancelled if any community case is confirmed.

Vurobaravu said the Covid-19 National Task Force was to test all 18 passengers who arrived on the flight from the French Territory, as well as all individuals who came into close contact with the two ni-Vanuatu.

Hundreds of illegal settlers evicted in Port Vila

It is the biggest relocation of illegal settlers undertaken on Efate and follows a police exercise last week, when about 100 people were relocated from near Mele village.

One of the relocated Black Sands villagers said he had been living there for 30 years.

The site is now an empty space. The settlers were given two weeks notice that they had to move.

They dismantled their makeshift houses, taking the materials with them.

They also cut down the fruit trees they had planted.

Vanuatu’s Health Director General suspended

DG Tamata has confirmed his suspension but refused to comment.

The Vanuatu Daily Post reports Tamata is expected to respond to allegations as part of the disciplinary process.

The Director of the Corporate Services, Policy and Planning at the MOH, Dr Posikai Samuel Tapo, is now the Acting DG for Health.


Photo file The  Guardian  Caption: Russell Tamata Director General for Health