Pacific

Free support for 'vulnerable' businesses in Pacific region

Business Link Pacific, a programme funded by the New Zealand government, is available for small to medium businesses made up of five to fifty employees in Vanuatu, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and the Cook Islands. 

Pacific businesses are particularly exposed because of global tighter border restrictions and plummeting demands to travel.

Business Link Pacific Director Steve Knapp says: "Pacific small businesses are vulnerable because they're working in quite small markets and are often reliant on tourism and overseas businesses."

Waiting game as Pacific lags on Covid19 testing

Although only a handful of New Zealand's Pacific neighbours were able to do such testing there were plans to change that.

Anyone who's had the Covid-19 test in New Zealand had their results back within a day or two.

For Pacific neighbours, including the Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga, that wait for results can take a week or more.

Covid-19 testing requires laboratory facilities which only exist in five Pacific locations, including Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

Pasifika youth bring calm to their community online

"The fear of our people feeling disconnected, alone and existing within an anxious and uncertain time in society was what inspired the creation of 'Calm our Community'. Whilst we knew that opening a group on Facebook was not going to fix the world, we just wanted to be able to provide an additional means of support and space for those who could access Facebook." Ms Leger said.

Concerns Covid-19 stresses could increase domestic violence in Pacific

A family advocate in Tonga said the national lockdown and closing of borders had added stress to many households.

Tonga is under a State of Emergency as the government attempted to keep the country Covid-19 free.

Tonga's Women & Children Crisis Centre Director, 'Ofa Guttenbeil Likiliki, said being in confinement could mean those already in violent relationships, could have their situation exacerbated.

She said the community would start to feel the economic crunch of the pandemic measures.

COVID-19: Pacific Community Updates

Globally, nations are taking actions to reduce and control the spread of the virus. 

Between 31 March and 03 April 2020, 36 new cases have been confirmed in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs).

As of 03 April 2020, 6 countries (Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas (CNMI), Papua New Guinea, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam and New Caledonia) in the PICTs have reported 153 cases including 4 deaths, excluding the number of cases from USS Theodore Roosevelt currently docked in Guam.

 

In-country COVID-19 testing for 17 Pacific Island countries expected soon

According to the Director of the Public Health Division of the Pacific Community (SPC) Paula Vivili, only five countries currently are able to offer in-country testing.

These countries are Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea

Pacific must be prepared for long battle with coronavirus-Op piece PIPSO's Stephen Lyon

A radio interview with NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on New Zealand’s Newstalk ZB (0740 09/02/20) it seems to indicate the New Zealand Government has not learned from the measles epidemic in Samoa nor have they accepted the criticisms of their own Ministry of Health. And that head in the sand attitude has been continued with this far more deadly new disease.

Pacific nations move to protect borders from coronavirus

Fiji's borders will now be closed to all foreign nationals who have been in mainland China within 14 days of their intended travel to Fiji.

Similar to newly-instituted policies in Singapore and Australia, no passenger arrivals or transits will be permitted for those falling under these controls, effective immediately and until further notice.

The government said there were no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Fiji.

In New Zealand, foreigners from China are banned from entering the country from today.

NZ virus case may mean ban on Pacific flights, government told

There are fears the coronavirus could spell a repeat of an epidemic of measles that spread from New Zealand to Samoa, where it has killed 83 people and made nearly 6000 ill since October.

Samoa's Ministry of Health has already confirmed that two Samoan sailors are in quarantine for 14 days at the Faleolo District Hospital amid fears they might be carrying China's coronavirus.

Samoa has stopped direct flights from China to reduce the risk of introducing the coronavirus.

Pacific nations on alert for coronavirus, 6 quarantined in Fiji

Due to restrictions in Apia, the travellers were reportedly denied entry into Samoa yesterday after they had flown from China via Hong Kong and Nadi.

Fiji's information ministry said on return to Nadi, all six were examined by a doctor and assessed as well, with no fever.

They are in quarantine to be cleared to fly.

The ministry said all six were from Fujian province in China, and none had a history of travel to Wuhan or Hubei province where the coronavirus outbreak started.