11 May 2022

Pacific news in brief

3:36 pm on 11 May 2022

Dozens of new cases of disease in Vanuatu, Mona Festival to kickstart Bougainville tourism, and 36-year-old is youngest covid-related victim in Samoa

Leptospirosis cases revealed in Vanuatu

A total of 29 leptospirosis cases have been reported in Vanuatu.

Of these, 18 are in Sanma province and eight in Shefa Province.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects both humans and animals.

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Photo: 123RF

The disease is transmitted to humans mainly through contact of broken skin with water or soil contaminated with the urine of infected animals.

Infections may occur in people exposed to flood water, puddles and waterfalls.

Bougainville's tourism ambitions

The government in the autonomous Papua New Guinea region of Bougainville hopes to kick start tourism with the Mona Festival in July.

The minister responsible for tourism, Patrick Nisira, says with restrictions easing at the national level it's anticipated tourist numbers in Bougainville will start to climb again.

The Mona Festival is named for the traditional Bougainvillean canoes which are a feature of the event.

The event is held in Buka.

In August there is the Siwai Tourism Cultural Show and later the Bougainville Chocolate Festival.

The government is expecting that these events will see tourists returning to Bougainville.

Young victim of covid in Samoa

Samoa has recorded its youngest covid-related death.

This was revealed by the Acting Director General of Health, Tagaloa Robert Thomsen, confirmed the 36-year-old male died on May 1 from

pneumonia made worse by Covid-19.

Tagaloa also confirmed the national Covid-19 vaccination roll out had been completed and covered the islands of Upolu, Savaii, Manono and Apolima.

The roll out targeted everyone five years and older with first and second doses as well as those elligible for booster shots.

Tagaloa said 98 percent have received their first doses and 93 percent aged 18 and over have also had the second dose.

Covid vaccinations will continue to be available at all of Samoa's hospitals.

New Caledonia's covid rates hit nearly 300

New Caledonia has recorded another 298 Covid-19 cases.

The latest figure, covering the past week, brings the total number of cases since September to 61,049.

The incidence of the virus is slightly higher than a month ago but down sharply since the peak in February.

The death toll remains at 312 - all of them died after the Delta variant entered the community in September.

The official update makes no mention of any Covid-19 patient still in hospital care.

Most pandemic-related restrictions have been lifted, but vaccinated travellers must still take a test two days after arrival.