Jacinda Ardern explains why there's no Pacific travel bubble yet

Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna told Newshub earlier this month that without any cases of the disease, the Cook Islands poses no threat to New Zealand - and vice versa. Samoa, Kiribati, Nauru, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu and Tuvalu also haven't reported any cases.

New Zealand's last confirmed case was more than three weeks ago, and it's been four weeks since the last patient known to be infected via community transmission left self-isolation.

Free chat-bot sharing Covid-19 information to expand into Pacific languages

The bot called Ᾱmio was created by three New Zealand doctors, Sanjeev Krishna, Canaan Aumua and Cole Rudolph, and is currently in English and Mandarin.

Dr Aumua said the Samoan, Tongan and Fijian languages would be the first set of Pacific languages the team would explore for Ᾱmio.

"There's also been some questions around the Cook Islands and Cook Island Māori because of how it would be an easy and nice transition between the two languages.

NRL game postponed after coronavirus scare

The child of one of the Bulldogs players attends a school in the Sutherland Shire where a staff member has tested positive for Covid-19.

The primary school has closed until 25 June and students have been told to self-isolate.

The Bulldogs and Roosters game will now be played on Monday night at Bankwest Stadium due to the potential biosecurity problem.

Sunday's later game between St George Illawarra and Cronulla at Campbelltown Stadium has been brought forward to the earlier timeslot.

Iran fears second wave after surge in cases

The health ministry said 3,574 new Covid-19 infections were recorded on Wednesday - the third consecutive day the figure has exceeded 3,000.

Another 59 people with the disease died, raising the toll to 8,071.

The president has said restrictions may be re-imposed if people do not follow social distancing and hygiene rules.

Before Wednesday's new infections were reported, bringing the overall total to 164,270, the previous high was 3,186 on 30 March. The number of cases then declined steadily until 2 May, when 802 were recorded.



No new cases in New Zealand for 10th day in a row

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said:

Our total number of confirmed cases remains at 1,154, which is the number we report to the World Health Organization.

Our combined total of confirmed and probable cases remains at 1,504.

The number of recovered cases is unchanged at 1,481. Only one case remains active.

There are no additional deaths to report.

There is no one in New Zealand receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19.


Tongan Tertiary students rally together during NZ's lockdown

However, the students relied on their sense of community through the unease of going through New Zealand's lockdown away from their family.

The Auckland Institute of Studies, (AIS), has had a partnership with the Tonga Institute of Higher Education, (TIHE), since 2006.

It allows for school leavers from Tonga to study half of their degree in New Zealand with graduates offered a higher entry level to the Tongan workforce.

Two people from Championship club test positive for Covid-19

The English Football League earlier said there were two positive cases out of more than 1,000 players and staff tested at the 24 second-tier clubs.

In a statement, Hull said the pair were asymptomatic and feeling no ill effects, but would self-isolate for seven days in line with EFL guidelines.

They will both be tested again at a later date.

The Tigers did not confirm whether the positive tests were from players or staff.

It comes after reports that Hull vice-chairman Ehab Allam wrote to the EFL twice to say the season should be voided.

Tongan-US survivor of COVID-19 says “great courage” saved her; husband returned to ventilator

Lotomo’ua Tu’akalau was isolated in her house along with three of her children while her husband Lelea Tu’akalau was fighting for his life in a hospital isolation ward.

Lotomo’ua said she understood there were a number of Tongans infected with Covid-19 in the US and she urged them to be strong.

She said while her husband was struggling with the disease she kept on telling him to keep fighting as he would be fine.

She said while in isolation, she lost appetite, was nauseous and frequently become unconscious.

Tonga still waiting for vital components for virus testing

Dr. ‘Amelia Afuha’amango said testing devices for the COVID-19 have arrived in Tonga but other equipment is needed.

The World Health Organisation expects to have more batches of COVID-19 testing equipment delivered by the end of the week.

Kaniva News reports more GeneXpert Cartridges had been delivered, but the batch of control kits destined for the Cook Islands, Nauru, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tuvalu and Wallis and  Futuna was only 80% complete.

The testing equipment can be used once the additional material arrives.

First evidence jab can train immune system to fight against COVID-19

Moderna said neutralising antibodies were found in the first eight people who took part in their safety trials.

It also said the immune response was similar to that in people infected with the actual virus.

Larger trials to see whether the jab protects against infection are expected to start in July.

Work on a coronavirus vaccine has been taking place at unprecedented speed, with around 80 groups around the world working on them.

Moderna was the first to test an experimental vaccine, called mRNA-1273, in people.