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Tonga to meet Fiji after beating PNG at Australian Pacific Netball series

Tonga defeated Papua New Guinea 85-42 in their first game yesterday.

Both teams will be gunning for their second win.

Fiji Pearls beat Samoa 55-44 yesterday.

Tonga will meet Samoa on Wednesday and Singapore on Friday.

The series ends with the finals on Saturday.

 

Photo Netball Australia  Caption: Tonga takes on Papua New Guinea in their first match of the Australia Pacific series 

     

PNG loosens some of the rules around Covid

There have not been recent public revelations of the numbers of Covid cases and deaths, but at least 639 fatalities have been recorded.

From today the need for booster shots to reach fully vaccinated status are dropped - two doses will suffice.

People arriving by boat, including cruise ships, will no longer require tests within 72 hours of boarding, but they have to be fully vaccinated and will be tested on arrival.

People arriving by air, internationally or domestically, must be fully vaccinated unless they are PNG citizens or permanent residents.

All Whites debutant scores in win over PNG

Substitute Ben Waine scored the winner in his first senior international game for New Zealand from a free kick in the 75th minute.

The Wellington Phoenix player had only been on the field for less than 10 minutes when he scored from close range.

Papua New Guinea had not played an international fixture since 2019, whereas the All Whites last played in January.

The Kapuls are ranked 165 on Fifa's ranking, more than 50 places below New Zealand (111).

New Zealand had several chances to score late in the game but could not convert.

Westpac forced to continue to operate its banks in Fiji and Papua New Guinea

Westpac announced last year it was selling its majority shareholdings in Westpac Fiji and Westpac Bank PNG Ltd for up to $AU420 million dollars.

Its preferred buyer was Kina Securities but the PNG Consumer and Competition Commission, the ICCC, has denied authorisation for the sale to Kina Securities.

Westpac has today announced that it will continue to operate the Pacific businesses while it reviews the impact of the decision on Kina Securities.

     

PNG's Digicel Cup delayed amid player Covid-19 cases

The 2021 Digicel Cup Season was originally to begin last month but was delayed following a surge of coronavirus cases in the country.

It was then scheduled for kick-off this weekend but has been delayed a further three weeks despite officials having urged participants to adhere to strict Covid-19 protocols.

PNG's National Rugby League Competition Chair Adrian Chow says the new delay was due to members of one team being confirmed positive for Covid-19 during routine tests.

Australia to send Papua New Guinea vaccines as cases surge

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the doses would be sent immediately, along with other critical care equipment.

Papua New Guinea's fragile healthcare system is under huge strain.

Officially, there are 1,400 active cases in the country, but the true number is thought to be much higher.

Testing has been an issue for the island nation. As of 10 March, only 50,000 tests had been carried out in a country with a population of nine million.

Japan to give $41 million aid to Asian and Pacific nations over vaccine supply

The Foreign Ministry said Tuesday the grant aid will be used to secure cold-storage facilities, transport vehicles and other equipment necessary for the stable delivery of vaccines in those countries, including Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, according to the ministry.

Japan aims to help ensure the delivery of vaccines "to each and every person in the all corners of developing countries" with the hope of containing the coronavirus pandemic as quickly as possible, it said, adding the aid will be delivered through the United Nations Children's Fund.

Regional governments and public applaud the ‘I Am Digital’ campaign

Agreeing in unison on the initiative's timeliness, the respective governments and its people all see the urgent need to educate youths and individuals on online safety etiquettes.   

‘I Am Digital’ is a new social media online safety education campaign for Save the Children and Facebook, uniquely tailored for audiences in the Pacific Islands. The high-profile campaign is designed to help educate and empower Pacific Island teenagers and young people to have safer and more positive online experiences.

PNG covid case numbers edge towards 900

On Saturday authorities confirmed a 895th case in the Central province, a 37-year old male who is an employee of a mining company.

He was not showing symptoms of COVID-19 at the time of testing but swab samples returned positive as part of the routine travel screening for work.

Additionally, over the course of the weekend, PNG's Hunters rugby leage team announced that one of the members of their travelling party had tested positive for Covid-19

It means that their scheduled departuire to Australia yesterday has been delayed again.

PNG records seventh Covid-19 death

A 71-year old man from Central Province who lived in Moresby South was brought to the Port Moresby General Hospital on Friday, tested positive for Covid-19 and then died the same day.

He had been suffering from a fever, a cough and shortness of breath but also had hypertension and diabetes as exisiting underlying medical conditions.

The Pandemic Response Controller, David Manning, said the recent death reinforced the call to citizens to go to health facilities and get tested if they had symptoms.