COVID-19

Pakistan cricket great Shoaib Akhtar reacts to possible cancellation of New Zealand tour

New Zealand's Ministry of Health has given the entire touring party a final warning after some of them breached isolation conditions at their quarantine hotel in Christchurch.

Six of the team have now tested positive for Covid-19.

Shoaib was upset by the inference that New Zealand Cricket is considering the tour could be called off.

YouTube suspends US news channel for Covid 'cure'

The channel, which is a favourite of President Trump, is also suspended from making any money on YouTube.

The suspension will last a week, during which time no new videos can be put up. To make money in future, the channel must rectify the issues.

YouTube is attempting to clean up its platform and has also removed QAnon and pizzagate-affiliated accounts.

Wallis and Futuna records third Covid-19 case

The infected individual, who is asymptomatic, arrived in the territory from France on 16 November.

The person tested positive while in quarantine and has now been transferred to the hospital's isolation ward.

People arriving in Wallis and Futuna undergo two Covid-19 tests before leaving quarantine.

The first test is done seven days after they arrive and the second is done the day before they leave quarantine.

The latest case was diagnosed after the first such test.

As govts scramble for Covid vaccines, don't forget the Pacific

Over the past few weeks, companies Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen Pharmaceutica have released results of significantly effective vaccines in preventing the virus.

But what does this mean for smaller nations who may not have the financial ability to be first in first served

The question of equitable and affordable access to vaccines for all countries is a matter of major importance to Doctors Without Borders

Tonga extends Covid-19 State of Emergency to 21 Dec

The extension was signed by Prime Minister Dr Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa when the previous order expired last night (Monday).

Tonga has remained Covid-19 free since the pandemic was declared in March.

Borders remained closed in the kingdom.

However, repatriation flights have been scheduled to bring Tongan nationals back home.

 

Photo file Caption: Prime Minister Dr Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa

     

Australia state reopens border after Covid cases plummet

Victoria, which imposed a tough lockdown after a surge in cases, has reported no new infections since the beginning of November.

The state is also relaxing its rules on wearing face masks.

Australia has recorded about 900 deaths and 28,000 infections in total.

The country has relied on lockdowns, widespread testing and aggressive contact tracing to push daily infections nationwide close to zero.

Australia shut down its international borders early in the pandemic and requires all arriving travellers to spend two weeks in quarantine in designated hotels.

Pacific Community sets foundations for post-COVID recovery at 50th Meeting of CRGA

. This year the 50th meeting of the Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA) – SPC's main governance body, which has been in existence since 1984 – was set to be held in Noumea, with delegations from 26 member countries and territories and numerous international observers gathering in "The Meeting House of the Pacific".

However, the global pandemic and associated travel restrictions required the meeting to be held in a hybrid fashion, with some participants present in Noumea and Suva, and others participating through virtual connections.

Over 800 Tongans have now been repatriated

Matangi Tonga reported 64 of the passengers would spend the next 14 days in quarantine at Makeke Camp in Vaini, while the remainder will stay at the Tanoa International Dateline Hotel in Nuku'alofa.

Members of the public are prohibited from entering both properties, except for essential workers.

Main roads around the Tanoa Hotel will also be blocked for during the quarantine period.

Tonga remains free of Covid-19.

The total number of repatriated passengers to Tonga so far is now 846.

Fiji Airways to operate special flight

The airline said the aircraft would spend more than two hours in Fiji's skies before returning.

The airline said it would also use the flight to prepare staff and guests on changes to expect when border restrictions eased and commercial flying resumed.

In a statement, the airline said flying had changed since the beginning of this year.

It said the Fiji Airways' Travel Ready programme was "designed for air travel in a Covid-19 world with numerous precautions and medical safeguards in place to protect customers and staff alike".

Twenty-nine members of Fiji rugby tour test positive for Covid-19

The decision was taken after the squad underwent a new round of Covid-19 testing on Monday.

In a statement, tournament organisers Six Nations Rugby said they remain in constant contact with the Fijian squad to address the situation.

"The main priority at present is the welfare of all players and management."

The Fiji squad, which includes 32 players and the management staff, is currently self-isolating in their hotel rooms at their tournament base in Saint-Galmier.