Delta variant confirmed in Vanuatu Covid-19 cases

Prime Minister Bob Loughman Weibur has today confirmed that the two active Covid-19 cases currently in isolation in Port Vila are of the delta variant.

The cases entered Vanuatu from New Caledonia on Friday, 22 October and were detected as positive on Sunday, 24 October.

Both active cases have been transferred to the Covid-19 isolation facility.

Loughman confirmed that test results from Doherty Institute in Australia indicated that the Covid-19 variant is delta.

“This is not cause for alarm but does send a warning that we must ensure the strictest standard is applied for all measures. The measures currently in place must be continued to protect against any onward transmission of delta variants from these two cases.

At this stage, no additional measures are required or recommended by the Ministry of Health (MoH). We should have confidence that the work done to strengthen our processes is sufficient. We should also continue to vaccinate, as this is the best protection against COVID-19 including the delta variant,” Loughman said.

None of the 16 other passengers from the same flight from New Caledonia have developed symptoms of Covid-19.

They were tested on day 1, day 5 and day 11 with an extra test on day 14.

All of the laboratory tests have returned negative.

They were provided medical clearance to confirm there is no risk of COVID-19 to the community and yesterday all 16 were released from quarantine.

MoH stated that additional contact tracing for the two active cases has now been completed. Contact tracing indicates there is no evidence of breaches in quarantine procedures.

20 other people were placed in quarantine as a precautionary measure while the contact tracing process was conducted.

These included frontline workers at the border, transport staff and health staff.

Negative test results have been received for all 20 of them.

Last week they were all released from precautionary quarantine as they were confirmed to pose no risk of Covid-19 to the community.

The ministry said here is no evidence of any additional Covid-19 cases in the country.

There is no indication of any risk of Covid-19 transmission in the community.

In accordance with the Vanuatu Outbreak Alert System, Efate and Offshore Islands remain at Level 1: Medium risk due to the cases at the border that have been contained in quarantine and Isolation. The rest of Vanuatu remains at Level 0: Low risk.

Photo supplied Caption: Prime Minister Bob Loughman Weibur during his nationwide address on the Covid-19 situation in Vanuatu.


Tensly Sumbe