13 Dec 2021

In brief: news from around the Pacific

5:02 pm on 13 December 2021

Samoa confirms Covid-19 case in MIQ

Samoa's Ministry of Health has confirmed a positive Covid-19 case detected amongst a group in quarantine at a hotel in Apia.

Director General of Health, Leausa Dr Take Naseri confirmed the case was a 24 year-old man who had travelled from Hawaii via Fiji.

Samoa Health Director Leausa Dr Take Naseri

Samoa Health Director Leausa Dr Take Naseri Photo: Samoa govt

He arrived on the Fiji Airways flight that brought home University of the South Pacific students and Samoans working in Fiji.

He was fully vaccinated and tests indicated he was asymptomatic.

Leausa said he did not show any symptoms of coronavirus.

He is now in a Ministry of Health isolation facility.

Leausa confirmed no other passenger tested positive and all are still in quarantine.

The Northern Marianas has reported its sixth Covid-19-related death as the territory confirmed 260 positives cases yesterday, giving the islands 1,774 cases since March 2020.

The Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation and the Governor's Covid-19 Task Force said the patient was an unvaccinated resident who tested positive in November.

Governor Ralph Torres said the death is a further reminder for people in the territory who are not vaccinated to get vaccinated.

Remembrance ceremony in Tahiti for victims of pandemic

A remembrance ceremony was held at the hospital in Taone in Tahiti last Friday, to pay tribute to the victims and doctors of the pandemic.

Friday's ceremony was held in the presence of French Polynesia's president Edouard Fritch and the health minister Jacques Raynal.

The ceremony was to thank the staff for risking their lives to save others during the pandemic.

636 people have now died of Covid-19 in French Polynesia, where there have been a total of 46,334 cases.

ADB to help PNG with state-owned enterprises

The Asian Development Bank is making a 150 million dollar loan to improve state-owned enterprises in Papua New Guinea.

Most essential services in PNG, such as energy, water, telecommunications, ports, and air transport, are provided by SOEs.

The PNG SOE Reform Program aims to help these agencies deliver high-quality services at affordable prices.

The program aims to cut unsustainable borrowing practices, improve accountability and transparency, and encourage private sector participation in service delivery.

ADB will work closely with Australia, New Zealand, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in implementing this loan.

Pacific Community to provide technology boost to Solomon Islands health

Provincial medical services in Solomon Islands are to receive a technology boost from the Pacific Community.

The Community is donating audio/visual equipment, including tablets, laptops, projectors, cameras, video conferencing material, and smart monitors.

The Solomon's Permanent Secretary for Health, Pauline McNeil, said the new equipment will play a critical role.

She said it will greatly enhance the ability to share experiences between national and provincial teams, and so improve medical expertise across the country.