New Caledonia

Qantas resumes flights to New Caledonia

The first flight at the weekend came from Brisbane which is a popular destination for Noumea residents.

Qantas is also restarting flights from Sydney to Noumea, where passengers need to take a Covid-19 test two days after arrival.

Aircalin, which is New Caledonia's international carrier, had restarted flights to Australia in February and to New Zealand in May.

Qantas has been flying to New Caledonia for 80 years.

     

New Caledonia's Covid rates hit nearly 300

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.

     

Cyclone Fili upgraded to a category 2 tropical cyclone

Cyclone Fili is located 220km north-west of New Caledonia making its way south at six kilometres an hour.

New Caledonian authorities have placed one northern district on alert level two for cyclone preparedness, while five other northern districts are at alert level one.

In the next 24 hours forecasters expect Cyclone Fili to move south south-east, 180km from Belep.

     

Two earthquakes hit New Caledonia

A 6.9 magnitude at the depth of 10 kilometres and was located 279km southeast of the Loyalty Islands around 8am local time.

A second 4.5 magnitude earthquake struck about an hour and a half later, 263km southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

No tsunami alert has been launched and no injuries or damage has been reported.

The first earthquake was originally reported to be a 6.7 magnitude earthquake but the USGS upgraded it to a 6.9 not long after.

     

Doctor in New Caledonia denies planning to kill love rival

Olivier Peres, who oversaw the orthopaedic department at Noumea's public hospital, gunned down Eric Martinez on a golf course four years ago.

Peres said Martinez had an affair with his wife, had threatened his family and boasted that as a member of the French military commando, he had killed people, including children.

The court heard however that Martinez didn't belong to any such unit.

Days before the killing, Peres and his wife had contacted the police, expressing fear after undue pressure from Martinez, whom Peres described in court as a narcissistic pervert.

New Caledonia records 1441 Covid cases

After another rise in the incidence of the virus last week, the numbers are again on a decline, but there are still about 11,000 active cases.

The number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients is unchanged at 43, of whom six are in intensive care.

Since September, when the Delta variant first hit the territory, more than 45,000 people contracted the virus and 287 died.

Since last Tuesday, the health pass, which is needed to access a range of venues, is only valid for people who have received the booster shot.

Covid-19 spread in New Caledonia picks up pace

The authorities say there are now 2520 active cases in the community.

20 people are in hospital care of whom seven are in intensive care.

The surge in case numbers follows the arrival of the Omicron variant this month and has prompted calls for more testing centres to open as more people show symptoms.

Rapid antigen tests with health professionals are free until at least the end of the month.

Selftests can be bought in pharmacies but their results aren't recognised to be able to get a health pass.

Omicron advances in New Caledonia

They say 11 positive results were returned over the past three days, with the analysis showing that omicron has had local transmission.

Some of the cases now concern people who have had no contact with travellers who imported the virus.

Fearing a further spike in the pandemic, anybody who recently attended any gatherings outside their families is encouraged to have a test.

New Caledonia had a sharp surge of the delta variant in September, which killed more than 280 people.

     

Protest in New Caledonia against govt's pandemic policies

The unauthorised march in Noumea was held just a day after the government imposed a limit of 30 people for any outside gathering.

Police say while the meeting was illegal, they didn't intervene because many children were in the crowd.

However, according to the public broadcaster, police used teargas after the end of the rally to disperse some demonstrators.

The march was called to oppose the health pass required to enter venues, such as restaurants and museums, and to protest against the law making vaccinations mandatory.

France invites drafts to revise New Caledonia's statute

More than 96 percent of New Caledonians voted against independence in a referendum boycotted by Kanaks. It was the last of three referendums, which concluded the 1998 Noumea Accord on the territory's decolonisation.

The Accord's provisions on the territory's institutional make-up remain in place until a new statute has been adopted.

While the anti-independence camp and Paris welcomed the referendum result, the pro-independence parties said the vote was bogus and they would not recognise its outcome.