Tahiti gripped by new Covid-19 wave

7:27 am on 2 August 2021

Restrictions are being reintroduced in French Polynesia in a bid to counter a rapidly worsening Covid-19 pandemic.

Within two weeks, the incidence of the virus has increased more than 40-fold, with case numbers since the start of the pandemic topping 20,000, including 149 fatalities.

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Photo: supplied

While there was no Covid-19 patient in hospital in mid-July, the wards are again filling fast, with 40 patients in care and eight of them in ICUs.

More than 90 percent of those admitted have not been vaccinated.

The French High Commission and the French Polynesian government have set a stop to all public events, limited public gatherings to no more than 20 people and funerals to 15.

A reintroduction of a curfew has been mooted, should the latest measures fail to curb the spread of the virus.

Despite an abundance of vaccines, only about a third of the population has been inoculated, with officials warning almost 80,000 doses risk expiry by October.

The previous wave of infections peaked in November when French Polynesia recorded the highest Covid-19 incidence outside Europe.