Papa Mau crew complied with rules, Nauru remains COVID-19 free

President Lionel Aingimea says initial reports from the Solomon Islands suggest the cargo vessel MV Papa Mau and its crew entered the Solomon Islands and did not follow protocols.

However, further investigation by the Nauru COVID-19 Taskforce confirmed the reports were false and that the Papa Mau crew in fact complied with all COVID rules stipulated by Solomon Islands authorities. They did not break any rules.

However, upon arrival into Nauru waters, the crew were tested and 13 out of 14 tested positive for COVID-19, and all necessary measures were taken to protect Nauru.

President Aingimea reiterates the safety and well-being of everyone in Nauru is a priority and thanks frontline workers for their continued hard work to ensure Nauru’s borders are protected.

As previously stated, the local staff (health, barge operators, lab technicians and van drivers) who were involved with the MV Papa Mau are considered non-contacts but regardless were placed in isolation as a precaution and to give these workers peace of mind.

They have been tested and all are negative. They have returned home and resumed work.

President Aingimea thanks them for the “great work they are doing, and keep up the good work.”

While the majority of Nauru’s adult population (18 years and older) are fully vaccinated, approximately 200 have only received their first dose. The 7,128 adults who are fully vaccinated exceed our initial targets for the estimated adult population.

The Taskforce is working to obtain additional vaccines, including vaccines such as Pfizer which can be administered to children as young as 12 years old.

Approximately 60 per cent of the total Nauru population is vaccinated but we have not yet reached herd immunity which is why additional vaccines are needed for those who missed out on the earlier roll-outs or are now eligible for the vaccine.

The President thanks Australia and Taiwan for their assistance with procuring the vaccines early on and Nauru continues to reach out to them for further assistance in this regard.

In regards to sea cargo, it is hoped the cargo vessel Micronesian Pride will be back in operation around early September.

In the meantime, freighters are flying in every week with essential food supplies which are subsidised by the government to help importers and local supermarkets and bakeries to be able to maintain essential supplies.

The government is in talks with Australia about assistance in terms of food security.

President Aingimea appeals to business owners not to take advantage of the situation, stressing this is not the time to profiteer and inflate prices.

There are reports that some Chinese-run shops are inflating prices for fresh produce and tinned food. Such businesses are warned that price control officers will be inspecting businesses. Shops that are seen to be inflating prices will face penalties.


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