CORONAVIRUS - WEEK 3 COVID19 PACIFIC UPDATE
We're now into the 3rd week since the World Health Organisation upgraded the Coronavirus to a Pandemic. We will be updating this page with Pacific Islands updates for our community here in New Zealand and around the Pacific. To catch up on updates from Week 1 click here , Week 2 click here & Week 3 click here
FRIDAY 3rd APRIL
NEW ZEALAND - There have been 71 new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand. 13 people are currently in hospital, and one is in intensive care. All are in stable condition. This brings the total number of cases to 868. 49% of cases have a direct link to overseas travel. 3,446 tests were processed yesterday in labs around the country.
Dr Ashley Bloomfield says there are 135 people in quarantine after arriving in the country with symptoms. Patients who are classified as 'recovered' must have passed 10 days since the onset of symptoms – and been clear from symptoms for 48 hours.
- WHO data says people are most infectious just before or as they are developing symptoms and in the first few days of the illness. Most people who develop symptoms after exposure do so in the first 5-6 days.
- Dr Ashley Bloomfield says the biggest clusters are at Marist College in Auckland, Bluff, and Matamata. He says while there are limited studies and reports, asymptomatic transmission could occur. Marist College is now up to 59 confirmed cases.
- The Ministry of Health is considering extending the flu vaccine deadline for vulnerable people.
Watch the Ministry of Health update below -
Businesses who have registered to sell essential, non-food items with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment can do so.
All stores selling these essential items must adhere to strict guidelines to avoid the spread of COVID19
This includes limiting sales to items that keep people warm, replace key household appliances, or maintain people’s health, eg: blankets, heaters, kitchenware and appliances, whiteware, computer equipment, and mobile phones.
Essential items can be purchased online from Noel Leeming, The Warehouse, Harvey Norman, Briscoes and Farmers.
If you need to order, do so responsibly, only purchasing items that are absolutely necessary to help your household safely isolate, stay connected to work, or study from home while we all unite against COVID-19.
AUSTRALIA - Confirmed cases today 5,358 and 28 deaths.
- The national death toll now stands at 28
- The chief medical officer believes global cases could actually be as high as 5-10 million (global count is 1m)
- Scott Morrison says the government will release details of the Covid-19 modelling on Tuesday
- NSW Health has been blamed for letting the passengers of the Ruby Princess disembark
- The government has suspended welfare debt recovery for six months
- ASIC warned of fines for real estate agents telling tenants to use their super to pay rent
HAWAI'I - The state Health Department has confirmed a second coronavirus-related death in Hawaii as the total number of cases swell by 27 to 285. The patient was a woman in her 50s who lived in West Oahu. State Health Department Director Bruce Anderson said she died Tuesday night after being transported to the Queen’s Medical Center. It wasn’t immediately clear if she had any history of travel
Here’s the county-by-county breakdown of total cases as of Thursday:
- Oahu: 206 (24 new)
- Maui: 27 (1 new)
- Big Island: 18 (0 new)
- Kauai: 12 (0 new)
- Pending: 20 (2 new)
- Diagnosed out of state: 2 (0 new)
- Authorities confirmed Thursday that Molokai is now reporting its first case of coronavirus. “The adult male had possible travel history and is currently hospitalized on Oahu," said Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino, in an emailed statement. "The Hawaii Department of Health is currently investigating the matter and any close contacts made by the individual.” Full story here
- As local hospitals and healthcare facilities experience a shortage of medical-grade face masks, some local retailers are changing their production line to sew fabric masks with filter inserts in them.
** Total of 443 cases confirmed in the Pacific & 6 deaths all in US territories - 8 in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas (1 death), 7 in Fiji, 37 in French Polynesia, 82 in Guam (3 deaths), 285 in Hawai'i (2 deaths), 18 in New Caledonia, 1 in Papua New Guinea & 5 in Rapa Nui **
14 nations & territories in the Pacific remain Coronavirus FREE
COMMONWEALTH of the NORTHERN MARIANAS - The CNMI announced yesterday two new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the CNMI’s total to eight confirmed cases and one death. Both newly confirmed cases are being closely monitored by CHCC medical teams. CHCC has also initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts like close family members, friends, and associates. Source Saipan Tribune
COOK ISLANDS - Ministerial Order sent out today now restricts group gatherings to 10 people or less and alcohol can only be sold between 9am - 4pm Monday to Saturday.
FIJI - Fijian Government have extended the Lautoka lockdown to at least 5 am 07 April 2020.
- Roadblocks have been erected at the three main entry points into Suva as the lockdown announced by the Hon. Prime Minister came into effect at 5am this morning
- A new single COVID-19 helpline has been set up for the ease and convenience of all Fijians. Just dial 158 if you, or someone you know, is experiencing #COVID19 symptoms.
- Two police officers are among 60 people arrested in Fiji overnight for breaching the nationwide curfew imposed to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Full story here
FRENCH POLYNESIA - Among the 37 cases, one has been classified as "indigenous", following the conclusions of the investigation by the Office of public health surveillance. He is a person who tested positive for Covid-19, having no connection with other confirmed cases or contact cases or suspected cases, already identified.
No new cases of Covid-19 have been detected to date. 35 new people have been screened since yesterday and one person is still hospitalized. Source TNTV.pf News
GUAM - To date, a total of 82 cases tested positive with nine patients who have recovered and 3 deaths. The overall count also includes six positive cases that were tested by the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego. All 67 remaining cases are in isolation, the press release stated.
- Anger in Guam at 'dangerous' plan to offload US sailors from virus-hit aircraft carrier. Politicians and community groups have protested to the governor of Guam, Lou Leon Guerrero, who allowed the move. Senator Sabina Flores Perez urged Leon Guerrero to oppose the “dangerous request”, saying the decision was a “reckless” one that “threatens the health and safety of us all”. Full story here
MARSHALL ISLANDS - In the face of the Covid-19 coronavirus spread worldwide, the Marshall Islands on Thursday extended its "total suspension of international travelers coming into (the country) via air travel until May 5, according to a new travel advisory issued. Full story here
NEW CALEDONIA - 2 more positive cases were announced yesterday but no one has tested positive today. Of the 172 tests carried out today, all were negative. A total of 1,697 tests have been carried out since the start of the crisis in the region and 18 people have been infected. Among them, a healed person was able to return to his home. Source Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes
- The authorities in New Caledonia have extended the restrictions on gatherings and movement until 13 April.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA - The Papua New Guinea parliament has voted to extend the State of Emergency for two months but it’s unclear what that’s going to look like. Apparently it won’t be like the past two weeks - restrictions on domestic travel are going to be eased for instance. Plenty of questions still remain. Via ABC Australia correspondent Natalie Whiting.
People in Lae have taken matters into their own hand for #COVID19 lockdown in Papua New Guinea looting shops. People are frustrated over the extension of the State of Emergency and are blaming the Asians for the pandemic the country and the world are in. Full story here
RAPA NUI - Inhabitants of Rapa Nui are leaning on a traditional form of ancestral discipline to overcome a coronavirus-imposed lockdown that threatens the Pacific island's vital tourism sector, and consequently their livelihoods. "We've applied the Tapu concept for all Rapa Nui and the acceptance has been incredible," said Edmunds. Full story here
SAMOA - Not one Samoan seasonal worker in Australia and New Zealand has asked to return home since the coronavirus pandemic started. No one has also been tested positive for coronavirus, the Government says. Full story here
SOLOMON ISLANDS - Maritime authorities confirm 28 people are missing after being washed off a ferry this morning. They were travelling back to Malaita as part of Solomons' Covid-19 evacuations. Ferry accident during Solomon Islands cyclone leaves 28 missing. Full story here
TONGA - Tonga's National Lockdown will now continue through until the 12th of April.
VANUATU - The government of Vanuatu has established an isolation facility at Vila Central Hospital as part of its preparation to address the impacts of Covid19. No cases reported as yet:
* Image used in todays cover image via TNTV.pf News - Bertrand GUAY / AFP
THURSDAY 2nd APRIL
- New Zealand has had its biggest increase in one day as the Health Ministry confirms 89 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of cases to 797. Dr Ashley Bloomfield says we aren’t at the turn around point yet – with the biggest number of cases and tests done in one day.
92 people had now recovered from the coronavirus. Thirteen people are in hospital, two are in ICU in Wellington and Nelson. All patients are stable and there have been no further deaths. Dr Bloomfield said 51 percent of cases still have a strong link to travel and 31 percent are links to confirmed cases. Only 1 percent are being classed as community transmission, but 17 percent are still being contact traced.
Watch his update here:
- Supermarkets will be required to close as usual on Good Friday but will be able to open on Easter Sunday. All shop employees (including essential services employees working during Alert Level 4) have the right to refuse to work on Easter Sunday without giving a reason to their employer.
- Police Commissioner Mike Bush says there has been an increase in family violence in Counties Manukau.
- The outgoing Police Commissioner has admitted police have failed to carry out the level of checks on recent arrivals to New Zealand, supposed to be in strict self-isolation, that had been promised by the government. Full story here
- Labs processed 2,563 swabs yesterday. The total number of tests now completed is 26,000.
AUSTRALIA - Confirmed cases today 5,050 and 23 deaths.
- Scott Morrison has announced free childcare for parents who need to still go to work in essential places of employment.
- More than 1,200 doctors from across the country have signed a letter to the home affairs minister, Peter Dutton (as well as ministers Alan Tudge and Jason Wood), urging the government to release asylum seekers and refugees from detention facilities to protect them from Covid-19 infection.
- The Queensland health minister says there was another death in the Darling Downs overnight. That is Queensland’s fourth death. The nation’s death toll has risen by two today, to 23.
HAWAI'I - The state is reporting 34 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, in the highest one-day total since the pandemic began. The cases bring the statewide total to 258.
There were no additional deaths reported.
Here’s the county-by-county breakdown with todays new cases:
- Oahu: 182 (25 new)
- Maui: 26 (1 new)
- Big Island: 18 (3 new)
- Kauai: 12 (0 new)
- Pending: 18 (5 new)
- Diagnosed out of state: 2 (0 new)
At least 15 people have required hospitalization so far. Meanwhile, 69 people have been “released from isolation" after falling ill. That means it’s been three days since they’ve exhibited symptoms or seven since they first got sick, whichever is longest.
- Hawaiian Air scales back service, offers free interisland flights to health care workers. Full story here
- Hawaii unemployment claims have reached an all-time high in March, surpassing 100,000 filings for the first time ever — according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Full story here
- Queen’s Health Systems employee diagnosed with coronavirus. Full story here
** Total of 406 cases confirmed in the Pacific & 5 deaths all in US territories - 6 in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas (1 death), 7 in Fiji, 37 in French Polynesia, 77 in Guam (3 deaths), 258 in Hawai'i (1 death), 15 in New Caledonia, 1 in Papua New Guinea & 5 in Rapa Nui **
14 nations & territories in the Pacific remain Coronavirus FREE
COMMONWEALTH of the NORTHERN MARIANAS - The Northern Marianas govenrment believes there's community transmission of Covid-19 on Saipan, with the territory confirming four more cases in the territory on Wednesday, bringing the total to six. Full story here
COOK ISLANDS - School holidays have been extended to April 19th while the country is still under Code Yellow. No Coronavirus cases in the Cook Islands.
- The Cook Islands' top Health official says the country is doing all it can to avoid the scenario of sending Covid-19 patients to New Zealand. Full story here
FIJI - Confirmed cases now up to 7. Fiji government have just issued confirmed case information. Public alert issued below. The two new cases are linked to the Muslim League settlement in Nabua, Suva. Police, military and health officials have blocked it off.
- Fiji's sprawling, bustling capital, Suva, will go into lockdown from tomorrow after two cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the city. Full story here
- The Fijian government has set up fever clinics so they can check Fijians who have fevers and from that identify those who may have Covid19.
- More than 160 arrests have been made in Fiji as a nationwide curfew installed to prevent the spread of Covid-19, enters its third day.
FRENCH POLYNESIA - No new cases of Covid-19 have been detected to date. 26 new people have been screened since yesterday and one person is still hospitalized. Each confirmed case is the subject of an investigation by the Health Watch Office, along with its entourage. Current total remains at 37
- The first people confined for 14 days after their arrival in French Polynesia will today be allowed to come out of their isolation.
GUAM - To date, a total of 77 cases tested positive with nine patients who have recovered and 3 deaths. The overall count also includes six positive cases that were tested by the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego. All 65 remaining cases are in isolation, the release stated.
- Guam's government has agreed to host hundreds of sailors from a US aircraft carrier riddled with Covid-19 in local hotels. Full story here
NEW CALEDONIA - Number of officially confirmed coronavirus cases in New Caledonia is now 15. This was the number officially confirmed today after one person recovered and was able to return to his home after being in quarantine. 1 case has been in intensive care since Sunday. According to the government, his condition is stable.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA - More PNG military are being deployed to the border with Indonesia this weekend amid concerns about increasing cases of covid19 in Papua/West Papua. Now East Sepik Governor requests “shoot to kill” orders. Expect this issue to be debated in parliament today. Full story here
RAPA NUI - Rapa Nui, or Chilean administered Easter Island, has confirmed another three cases of Covid-19 coronavirus, bringing its total to five. Full story here
SAMOA - Two tonnes of vital medical supplies arrived in Samoa early Tuesday morning on a special Samoa Airways flight. Full story here
- Samoa’s cancer patients have lost their regular hospital ward and home visits as the Samoa Cancer Society works to protect some of the country’s most vulnerable people from COVID-19. Full story here
- The Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (M.E.S.C.) has confirmed lesson plans and programmes for school children, which can be accessed on its website, TV1 and Government Channel television stations and the 2AP Radio Station.
- The Manumā Samoa team have tested negative for Covid-19 during extended stay in NZ. Full story here
- The MV Lady Samoa III is back home from full survey servicing in Fiji but, due to coronavirus precautionary measures, the vessel and crew are being isolated out at sea for 14 days. Full story here
TONGA - Tonga is still COVID-19 Free as of 12pm, 01 April. No suspected case either. Given the global trend and regional spread of COVID-19, Tonga is still on higher risk of COVID-19 entering to the country along with the travellers coming from overseas, both Tongan & Foreigners. via Tonga Police
* Image used in todays cover image via RNZ Pacific
WEDNESDAY 1st APRIL
STAY IN YOUR BUBBLES!
We are in lockdown. Make no mistake, the days to come are going to be really hard for so many people, if they aren’t already. The measures will place a strain on a lot of people. Others might simply grow complacent. We have to do everything to guard against that.
Already, some people have apparently convinced themselves they aren’t doing any harm by nipping out of their bubbles. They don’t have the virus, right? Well, it’s really important to remember this: people can be infectious for days before they show symptoms.
The reality is simple. Everyone who visits another bubble could set off a chain reaction that at best puts our essential workers out of action and at worst puts people’s lives at risk. So please, stay in your bubbles New Zealand. Full story via the Spinoff here
- Total of confirmed and probable cases in NZ to date = 708 & 14 people are in hospital. No additional deaths and 82 cases have now recovered.
- 19 Pacific Islanders and 46 Māori have tested positive for Covid-19. Watch the Prime Minister's live update here.
- An average of 1843 Covid-19 tests were conducted in the last seven days. Dr Caroline McElnay says there are currently eight labs operation for Covid-19 tests, it will increase to 10 labs by the end of this week.
- Dr Caroline McElnay says the case definition has changed. New case definition is now anyone with respiratory symptoms, which are consistent with Covid-19, should be considered for testing regardless of travel history or contact with a confirmed case.
- 57 people were moved yesterday from managed isolation in Auckland through to Wellington to Christchurch, there will be a chartered regional flight this afternoon and more expected in the next few days.
Watch Civil Defence director Sarah Stuart-Black who is providing the update for the Ministry of Health below:
AUSTRALIA - Confirmed cases today 4,707 and 20 deaths.
- Australia's death toll has risen to 20 as the State of Victoria announces 1.3bn intensive care boost.
- A coronavirus pop up testing station has been established in Bondi
- The government have tightened restrictions on social distancing but how they're applied will vary from state to state.
* Queensland have announced a State of Emergency and residents are only allowed to leave their home for one of 8 essential reasons listed here Queenslanders are still attending school and university though.
* NSW now legally have to stay in their homes unless they have a 'reasonable excuse' - eg obtaining food, exercise, travel for work if you can't work at home or medical/caring reasons
* Victoria have adopted a similar system to NSW and both States have Police responsible for deciding on who will receive penalties for breaching the stay at home order.
For the other States and a full list of their restrictions click here
HAWAI'I - Hawaii reports first coronavirus-related death as total number of cases grows to 224.
Following the state’s first coronavirus-related death in Hawaii, state officials pleaded with residents Tuesday to take stay-at-home orders seriously. “I cannot stress enough ... stay at home and self-isolate,” said Gov. David Ige. “You need to remain vigilant. We cannot afford to let our guards down."
Here’s the county-by-county breakdown of the 20 new cases reported Tuesday:
- Oahu: 157 (18 new)
- Maui: 25 (0 new)
- Big Island: 15 (0 new)
- Kauai: 12 (0 new)
- Pending: 13 (2 new)
- Diagnosed out of state: 2 (0 new)
The news come as the state plans to expand a mandatory, 14-day quarantine order to include inter-island travelers and as Hawaii remains under a sweeping stay-at-home order.
** Total of 354 cases confirmed in the Pacific & 4 deaths all in US territories - 2 in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas (1 death), 5 in Fiji, 37 in French Polynesia, 69 in Guam (2 deaths), 224 in Hawai'i (1 death), 16 in New Caledonia & 1 in Papua New Guinea **
14 nations & territories in the Pacific remain Coronavirus FREE
FIJI - Confirmed cases remain at 5.
- The Asst. Minister for Rural & Maritime Development Hon. Jale Sigarara has been on the ground in the Northern Division this week leading the #COVID19 Fiji Community Awareness Campaign in Vanualevu. Dr I Wagainabete has also been out in the community spreading awareness for Covid19.
- Officers have been directed to arrest people found loitering in public places outside of the nationwide curfew hours. This follows serious concerns received about people continuing to gather in numbers.
- The Chinese government is handing over $4.3 million in cash and medical supplies to Fiji and other Pacific Island countries to fight Covid19
FRENCH POLYNESIA - A new Covid-19 case has been detected today taking the total to 37. 24 new people have been screened since yesterday and there is still only one person hospitalised with 463 cases tested.
GUAM - Guam has recorded its second covid-19 death. The Governor says the 79-year-old man and who had no travel history passed away this morning. He had multiple co-morbidities. Total confirmed Coronavirus cases is currently
- 9 new cases out of 31 tested yesterday with 69 positive cases on Guam. 7 have recovered.
- The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is currently in Guam. It has over 100 sailors infected with COVID-19, and its captain is pleading for assistance to isolate his crew. The US Defense Secretary Mark Esper says it is not time to evacuate an aircraft carrier docked in Guam which is reeling from an outbreak of Covid-19 despite a letter from the commander of the ship pleading for help. Full story here.
NEW CALEDONIA - Number of officially confirmed coronavirus cases in New Caledonia is now 16. The sixteenth case was announced yesterday. This is a person who was previously placed in confinement at the Koutio Cise. 1 case has been in intensive care since Sunday. According to the government, his condition is stable.
PALAU - Health authorities in Palau are trying to get a suspected Covid-19 patient's specimen samples to Guam for testing. Full story here
SAMOA - A Samoa Airways plane will return from Australia empty of passengers but with tonnes of vital medical supplies including hand sanitisers, Ventolin and masks. Full story here
- More than ten hotels and resorts have temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, in a move that will hurt more than a hundred employees and thousands more who rely on their income. Full story here
SOLOMON ISLANDS - The Ministry of Health in Solomon Islands has sent out a memo threatening "termination with immediate effect" for staff who post comments online criticising the government's Covid-19 response. Full story here
TOKELAU - In Tokelau yesterday, women in the village came together to make lunch for their husbands and sons working on the hospital structure in preparation for COVID-19.
TONGA - Tonga's Ministry of Health says two weeks of the borders being closed is not long enough as the country needs more time to put in place its strategy to counter Covid-19. Full story here
VANUATU - Vanuatu's caretaker Prime Minister has announced a $US32 million Stimulus Package to support the country's economy during the Covid-19 global pandemic.
- New Order for General public in Vanuatu; no one is allow to leave his home from 9PM-4AM, anyone caught breaching the order will be remand for 24 hours, except for emergency purposes and essential services.
TUESDAY 31st MARCH
NEW ZEALAND - Total of confirmed and probable cases in NZ to date = 647, 14 people are in hospital, 2 people are in ICU but are stable. No additional deaths and 74 cases have now recovered.
Watch Dr Ashley Bloomfield and his Ministry of Health update below:
- The Warehouse is re-starting some of its operations to supply appliances and other items now classified as essential goods. Full story here
- The State of National Emergency has been extended for another seven days. Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare says extending it ensures the government has all the powers needed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
- Samoan pharmacist Kasey Brown, who is president of the Pacific Pharmacists’ Association and member of the Pasifika Medical Association in New Zealand, says if you have run out of your prescription for medication while in isolation here are some tips to help you out:
“if you or a loved one have run out of your medication, to call the pharmacy first, as they may already have a repeat prescription on their file”.
“This might save having to call your family GP,” she says. “If you need a new prescription, then you can call your GP and request them to fax a copy to your pharmacist.”
Full details from the Pacific Medical Association here
AUSTRALIA - Confirmed cases today 4,361 and 19 deaths.
- More refugees detained on Manus Island and Nauru have been moved to an Australian hotel amid calls for their release to protect them from Covid-19.
- Australia has again stated its commitment to the Pacific - "With several cases now recorded in the Pacific, essential Australian personnel are willing to remain in the Pacific, working with partner governments to respond to this regional crisis. Australia’s highest priority in the Pacific is to keep COVID-19 infection rates as low as possible." Read the full statement here
HAWAI'I - State health officials now reporting 204 total cases of coronavirus in Hawaii. 29 new cases reported today, with 16 of them on Oahu.
- A TSA screening officer at Honolulu’s airport has tested positive for COVID-19. Full story here
- Governor Ige signed an emergency proclamation implementing a 14-day self quarantine on all inter-island travel. It takes effect this Wednesday April 1st through April 30th. Essential workers will be allowed to travel.
- The Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture has been moved to June 21
** Total of 321 cases confirmed in the Pacific - 2 in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, 5 in Fiji, 36 in French Polynesia, 58 in Guam, 204 in Hawai'i, 15 in New Caledonia & 1 in Papua New Guinea **
14 nations & territories in the Pacific remain Coronavirus FREE
COMMONWEALTH OF THE NORTHERN MARIANAS - Covid19 confirmed cases still 2 and the authorities in the Northern Marianas are now investigating after a 70-year-old died at a quarantine facility on the main island, Saipan. Full story here
FIJI - Dr I wagainabate reports Fiji is still at 5 confirmed COVID19 cases and no new cases despite 357 tests. - Police officers are deployed to the 101 permanent checkpoints around the country as the nationwide curfew comes into effect from 10pm until 5am
Sixty eight (68) people were arrested last night for breaching the curfew hours from 10pm to 5am this morning. Thirty seven (37) were arrested in the Western Division, thirteen (13) in the Southern Division and eighteen in the (18) in the Eastern Division.
FRENCH POLYNESIA - The number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in French Polynesia has risen again to to 36. There is still only one person hospitalised with 439 cases tested. Confinement and a curfew were put in place in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus. Every day, a situation report is sent by the high commission.
GUAM - The local Governor's Press Secretary, Krystal Paco-San Agustin, announced the results of the latest batch of samples. "We have an additional two positive confirmed cases of Covid-19. Guam Public Health Lab tested 20 samples, two returned positve, 18 came back negative. That brings our total Covid count to 58 cases of Covid-19 here in island. That includes one death and seven recoveries." Full story here
PALAU - The Palau's Ministry of Health (MOH) is informing the public that as of March 30, there is one Person Under Investigation (PUI) who may be infected with the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). The individual is in isolation.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA - Police Minister Bryan Kramer says the gov's intention is to end PNG's State of Emergency on time on Tuesday, April 7. The National Operating Command Centre will continue along with implementation of certain COVID19 measures. What measures will be relaxed is yet to be confirmed.
SAMOA - Samoa is still Coronavirus FREE, after tests sent away came back negative. Full story here
SOLOMON ISLANDS - The Solomon Islands government has extended a school closure notice, previously only for institutions in the capital Honiara and Guadalcanal, to the rest of the country. Full story here
VANUATU -Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office have provided clarity concerning kava bars. Closed for sit-down service, and must not operate past 7.30 pm, but still allowed to make kava.
MONDAY 30th MARCH
NEW ZEALAND - Total of 589 confirmed and probable cases in NZ to date. 12 people are in hospital, three are expected to be discharged today and two people are in ICU. One of the previous probable cases has been confirmed as one of the 76 new positive cases today.
NZ reported its first fatality yesterday. Dr Bloomfield said New Zealand had its first death after a woman who was initially diagnosed with influenza died. The woman who died was in her 70s, from the West Coast. She died this morning at Grey Base Hospital in Greymouth. She had tested positive for the virus on Friday.
"Understandably the family would like to take their time to grieve," Dr Bloomfield said. "This latest sad news reinforces our move to alert level four." Click here for full story
- Family members within the same bubble of a deceased person will now be able to visit them in a funeral home, after the Ministry of Health announced new guidelines for funerals and tangihanga this afternoon. Read the new rules around funerals here
- Remember the New Zealand Ministry for Pacific Peoples has translated key Covid19 messages into nine Pacific languages - a useful resource (though check details with your local Ministry of Health - each country in the region is setting different rules on lockdowns etc) Click here and scroll to the bottom for the Pacific Islands Language Resources.
- Two percent - or about 10 cases - of Covid-19 in NZ have been transmitted through the community, says Health Ministry
- More New Zealanders in their 20s have Covid-19 than any other age group, Ministry of Health figures show, and it's likely because most cases are connected to overseas travel.
- The Auckland girl's school Marist College has 47 confirmed and probable cases of Covid-19.
- South Auckland health authorities say they are preparing for a coronavirus outbreak on par with those seen in Italy and New York City. Full story here
More information on current Covid19 cases in New Zealand here
AUSTRALIA - Australia now has 4,163 confirmed cases and 18 deaths.
- Victoria is now in stage 3 shutdown as Tasmania and ACT record first deaths.
- The NRL is delivering a $40 million rescue package to the 16 Telstra Premiership clubs to help them cope with the financial impact of the global coronavirus pandemic. Read more here
- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced further restrictions on yesterday, including limiting public gatherings to two people.
Australians were told not to go out in public with more than one other person while all public spaces including parks, playgrounds, skateparks and outside gyms will be closed from midday tomorrow in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a press conference, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said states and territories could decide whether to make the strict new rules enforceable but it was strongly advised that "unless it's your household, the family, those that are living at your residence" do not go out with more than one other person.
- #BREAKING Following requests from NZ Prime Minister Jacinda, the Australian government has extended COVID-19 support to NZ citizens living there. It’s the fair go decision for people who pay taxes and contribute so much in Oz, just like we look after Aussies here. Full story here
HAWAI'I - The state reported 24 new cases of coronavirus in Hawaii on Sunday, bringing the statewide total to 175.
This is the second largest single-day jump after Saturday’s numbers, which showed 29 new cases.
Here’s the county-by-county breakdown:
- Oahu: 123 (15 new)
- Maui: 20 (4 new)
- Big Island: 12 (2 new)
- Kauai: 12 (1 new)
- Pending: 6 (2 new)
- Diagnosed out of state: 2 (0 new)
The DOH added that of the confirmed cases so far, 12 people required hospitalization. According to this new web page by the Department of Health, 49 of the 175 patients in Hawaii have been released from isolation.
- Facility for homeless who test positive for coronavirus to open by April 1. Full story here
- A group of entrepreneurs with Hawaii ties is launching a new website to provide information to the public - and to gather data on the spread of COVID-19 in the islands. The “Hawaii Towards Zero” website was developed by Traven Watase, Rose Wong, Denise Sangalang and Leo Koloamatangi. Their site will include links ranging from local businesses to health advice and financial tips for those affected by the coronavirus.
“Initially we just built out an entire platform revolved around being able to log in your symptoms, connect that to our healthcare partners and possibly the government in order for them to have access to where are our most high-risk areas and most relevant areas where COVID-19 is,” said Koloamantangi.
** Total of 288 cases confirmed in the Pacific - 2 in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, 5 in Fiji, 34 in French Polynesia, 56 in Guam, 175 in Hawai'i, 15 in New Caledonia & 1 in Papua New Guinea **
AMERICAN SAMOA - 42 of the 145 passengers who arrived on the Hawaiian Airlines flight from Honolulu on Thursday night have been quarantined. Full story here
COOK ISLANDS - Cook Islands High Commission has sent an urgent email to Cook Islanders in New Zealand, warning them to "shelter in place" and not make their own way to the country's quarantine centre near Auckland International Airport. Full story here
COMMONWEALTH OF THE NORTHERN MARIANAS - The Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas has recorded its first two cases of Covid-19 according to the Governor. Ralph Torres announced the positive results during a hurriedly organized press conference on Saturday night at the Commonwealth Health Care Corporation. The two cases are a 42-year-old male and a 49-year-old female. Full story here
FIJI - Still at 5 confirmed cases and no new cases over the weekend.
- Fijians have been warned if the lockdown continues to be violated, the government will have no choice but to impose further restrictions.
- Fiji Airways suspended all its domestic flights at 6pm today but are exploring the possibility of recovery flights between Nadi and Los Angeles later this week or early next week to assist with sending foreigners home and bringing Fijian citizens home. There will also be no passenger carriage or movement on inter island ships throughout Fiji until further notice. Only freight cargo services will continue during this time. There is also a restriction of movement for small craft and yacht.
FRENCH POLYNESIA - The number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in French Polynesia has risen by four 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 April 15, and anyone caught breaching it can be fined at least US$150 and risks one year in prison.
GUAM - Guam has 56 cases of Covid19 but only 13 staffed intensive care beds, according to the Chief Medical Officer. He warned last week that Guam’s “critical care break point” could come this week and deaths could “skyrocket”. All our pacific neighbours will need help to respond.
NEW CALEDONIA - 15 confirmed Covid19 cases.
The New Caledonian government says it hopes to begin with the repatriation of citizens stranded by the Covid-19 crisis by Friday. The tally released by the government shows more than 400 each are in Australia, New Zealand and France but there are also dozens in French Polynesia and Vanuatu.
Meanwhile a relief flight from New Caledonia has taken medical supplies to Wallis and Futuna, which had been isolated and to date is free of any Covid-19 cases. They are the only French Pacific territory without a confirmed Covid19 case. Full story here
PALAU - Palau is one of the few nations, which has no confirmed cases of the highly-contagious novel coronavirus but said it is putting up defenses to prepare for likely cases. Click here for more.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA - Confirmed cases remains at 1
- Papua New Guinea's government is considering asking banks to defer loan repayments by three months to help people and businesses.
- The PNG Nurses Association have staged a protest against the lack of measures & equipment to protect them against coronavirus. Nurses said most hospitals do not have isolation units & inadequate public health measures to control the spread of the disease. Full story here
SAMOA - A flight attendant from the Samoa Airways crew is the latest suspected case of the COVID-19 in Samoa. Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi confirmed this as well as a plan to return the Air Malindo plane and crew early. Read the full story here
Brown Girl Woke (B.G.W.) founder Maluseu Doris Tulifau and TV3 General Manager Aotearoa Pesamino have teamed up to come to the rescue of families currently in quarantine after they arrived in Samoa last week. Full story here
TONGA - Tonga's week-long national lockdown began yesterday as authorities strive to keep the country Covid-19 free. Full story here