26 Mar 2020

Covid-19 tally in New Caledonia up at 14

12:32 pm on 26 March 2020

Another four people in New Caledonia were confirmed to carry the Covid-19 virus on Wednesday, raising the tally within one week to 14.

The government said all four cases were imported without elaborating.

The more restrained communication policy has been prompted by reports that death threats had been made against those infected.

An initial assessment shows that restrictions on movement imposed for two weeks have been largely followed, with more than 3000 checks being made.

Breaches will incur a fine of $US800 for a first offence.

Anyone deliberately flouting the restrictions risks being charged with endangering another person's life and could be jailed for a year.

Seven arrested over airport vandalism

Meanwhile police have arrested seven people in connection with vandalism at Noumea's international airport.

Rocks were thrown at the terminal's glass front and about 40 cars parked outside were damaged.

They belonged to rental car companies, individuals as well as the customs department.

The disturbance occurred a day after a crowd staged a protest outside the airport in La Tontouta calling for tougher measures to counter the Covid-19 outbreak.

Gatherings are now banned as it was established on Sunday that the virus is being spread within the community.

Reports say the public was largely compliant with the restrictions.

Scheduled flights have been abandoned but New Caledonia's carrier Aircalin plans two flights to Tokyo this week to allow stranded travellers to go back to France.