28 Aug 2021

In brief: news from around the Pacific

9:50 am on 28 August 2021

Covid-19: Minister on Pacific people response

New Zealand's Minister of Pacific Peoples says the government has targeted vaccinating communities in ethnically diverse South Auckland from the start.

The community has been targeted by abuse after it was revealed a church service just before lockdown has given rise to more than 100 community cases.

But Pasifika lead the way in full vaccinations among people aged 40 and above.

The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, said South Auckland has always been a priority.

He said they set out of the vaccination programme to earmark the area, partrituclarly Pasifika, Maori, those with co-morbiities and essential workers.

Mr Sio said they've been urging Pasifika people to make vaccination a whanau approach.

Pasifika households affected by the Covid-19 outbreak face hurdles to self-isolate effectively.

Pasifika households affected by the Covid-19 outbreak who are waiting to get into managed quarantine face significant hurdles to self-isolate effectively.

The Pacific health and social service provider, The Fono, is providing support to households with members self-isolating.

The Fono chief executive Tevita Funaki

The Fono chief executive Tevita Funaki Photo: Dominic Godfrey / RNZ Pacific

Its chief executive, Tevita Funaki, said there are big challenges especially for families split between homes, hospital and quarantine.

"The challenges around literacy, around just their understanding opf what isolation means, and how serious this Delta is. If there's a positive case in there how do they isolate, how do they support that person who is a positive member of the family."

He said it's hard for members of large families in small homes to isolate.

Health officials have attributed delays in getting positive cases into MIQ to issues of safe transportation.

New Covid-19 cases recorded in Guam

Guam's Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has announced sweeping changes to try to curb the fast-spreading delta variant.

On Friday, 20 students and three Guam Department of Education employees tested positive for Covid-19.

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero announces spike in cases and subsequent restrictions

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero announces spike in cases and subsequent restrictions Photo: Governor's Office

There were 179 positive results for Covid-19 out of 1,612 tests performed on Thursday, according to a Joint Information Center report issued Friday evening.

The governor has ordered:

The suspension of face-to-face learning affecting prekindergarten through 12th grade students in public, private, charter and Catholic schools islandwide, beginning Monday.

The limitation on social gatherings to no more than 10 vaccinated individuals indoors and 25 vaccinated people outdoors, effective 8 a.m. Monday.

Samoa's Ministry of Finance CEO resigns

The chief executive of Samoa's Ministry of Finance has resigned.

The CEO, Leasiosiofaasisina Oscar Malielegaoi, is the son of the the country's former Prime Minister.

Leasiosiofaasisina posted a video on social media saying he had been asked by the Minister of Finance, Mulipola Anarosa Ale Molio'o, to resign and that he accepted it.

Last week the Minister of Finance told local media there were some trust issues with the CEO because his father, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, led the opposition.

She said Leasiosiofaasisina has a conflict of interest as his father will challenge the budget.