6 Jan 2023

Pacific news in brief for January 6

5:28 pm on 6 January 2023
Tuvalu Hospital

Tuvalu hospital Photo:

Tuvalu stops recording Covid-19 cases

Tuvalu says its business as usual in its country, about nine weeks after it announced covid-19 had arrived at its borders.

It has stopped recording Covid-19 cases, labeling the situation 'calm and normal.'

The last update was on November 30, 2022, when 2779 cases had been recorded since the community outbreak was announced on November 3.

Government spokesperson Lili Faavae said when the border was officially opened on December 1, 2022, a decision was made to scrap data recording of infections.

"Our government decided to officially open our borders on the first of December of last year [2022] and the Ministry of Health also lifted all its Covid special operations according to the community outbreak situation," she said.

Faavae said there have been no reports of severe cases, there are some cases but very few and they all are mild.

Woman arrested in Solomon Islands

A 38-year-old woman has been arrested in Solomon Islands following the discovery of the body of a baby girl.

Solomon Islands Police said the baby was found washed ashore at Boromole Village on December 21.

Superintendent David Soakai said the woman has been charged with infanticide contrary to Section 206 of the Penal Code.

She has been remanded in custody and is due to appear at the Magistrate's Court on January 14.

Severe acute respiratory infections on the rise in Samoa

In Samoa, more than 1000 flu-like illnesses were reported from December 12 to 25.

This was revealed in the latest Syndromic Surveillance report by the Ministry of Health.

The Ministry continues to see a decrease in the number of Covid-19 testing and Influenza test requests received by the hospital laboratory.

The report said severe acute respiratory infection, or SARI, has been reported.

The ministry said reporting of SARI cases has increased or strengthened due to an increased understanding of the case definitions.

The surveillance team has conducted investigations for these cases where no links have been identified.

Weather warnings issued in Samoa

Severe weather warnings have been updated in Samoa this morning.

The Samoa Meteorological Service issued its latest weather update, including a heavy rain warning, marine warning, flood advisory, and wind advisory.

The update said there is potential for heavy downpours with poor visibility, foggy and slippery roads over mountain passes and ranges, and pooling near roadsides and waterways.

Flooding and landslides are possible.

Bad weather in Solomon Islands leads to police advisory

Solomon Islands Police are appealing to members of the public to think safety first during the current bad weather.

This comes as the country continues to experience heavy rain and strong winds, as are several other Pacific nations.

Boats and vessel owners are advised to check the forecast before travelling at sea, while road users in Honiara and throughout the provinces are advised to take safety measures.

The commissioner of police asks drivers not to cross flooded rivers or streams.

With slippery conditions, pedestrians are also encouraged to take care on footpaths.