21 Jun 2022

Pacific News Briefs for 21 June

4:49 pm on 21 June 2022

French Polynesia records another 20 Covid cases

Another 20 Covid-19 cases have been recorded in French Polynesia in the last 72-hour reporting period.

The number of active cases is now 61, which is a slight drop since last week but well below the outbreak's peak last year.

The health authorities say there are no Covid-19 patients in the hospital.

The death toll of the pandemic is 649, with most fatalities registered during last year's outbreak with the Delta variant.

Vaccinations have continued and more than 81 percent of those 12 years and older have had two jabs.

PNG police investigate discovery of police and defence uniforms

Papua New Guinea police are investigating the discovery of police and PNG defence uniforms on a chartered flight to Hela Province.

Police Commissioner David Manning said security forces' intercepted and confiscated the police and defence force uniforms on the flight from Port Moresby to Komo airport in Hela.

PNG Pandemic Response Controller, David Manning

PNG Pandemic Response Controller, David Manning Photo: EMTV

Commissioner Manning says a pistol found on a person who was meeting the flight has been confiscated.

He said police are trying to uncover who chartered the aircraft and what role the ground staff at the airport played.

Last week, a Highlands police commander issued instructions to the public to look out for people masquerading as police officers during the general elections starting next month.

Mate Ma'a Tonga players arrive in New Zealand

Mate Ma'a Tonga players have arrived in New Zealand ahead of their highly anticipated match-up against the Kiwis this Saturday.

A small crowd of Tongan supporters greeted the team at Auckland Airport which included Labour MP Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki.

Crowds have been reduced due to covid restrictions.

The team will greet the public and media at a joint gathering at Otahuhu Leopards Rugby League Club on Wednesday.

Samoa's police and prisons not meeting Covid-19 measures according to Ombudsman report

Samoa's Ministry of Police and Prisons has started acting on issues cited by the Ombudsman Office regarding Covid-19 at Tanumalala Prison.

Papalii Monalisa Keti in an email cited the most pressing issue is the overcrowding in cell blocks and not meeting social distancing requirements.

She confirmed receiving the Ombudsman's report which has provided an evaluation of the preparedness, prevention, and control of Covid-19 at Tanumalala Prison.

Papalii acknowledged the work of the Ombudsman's Office in providing her Ministry with recommendations which they will continue to work on.

NZ High Commission offers financial support to Samoa Cancer Society

The Samoa Cancer Society says a grant by the New Zealand High Commission of over $19,000 tālā ($19,850) will benefit cancer patients in the country.

Its Chief Executive Officer Su'a John Ryan said the assistance is for a project to supply colostomy bags and accessories to patients in Samoa.

A colostomy bag collects human waste from the digestive tract through an opening in the abdominal wall.

He said the ages of those receiving assistance range from newborns to patients that are in their 70s and the funding will enable it to continue to provide this service free of charge.

Su'a said the bags are expensive so having the New Zealand High Commission support the Samoa Cancer Society is appreciated.