New Caledonia

New Caledonia extends lockdown

On Thursday, seven deaths from COVID-19 were recorded, the heaviest daily toll since the discovery of the first indigenous cases of the disease on September 6.

It brings the death toll to 24 since September 6, announced by President Louis Mapou, during a joint speech with the French High Commissioner, Patrice Faure.

A total of 211 people are in hospital, including 29 in intensive care.

New Caledonia records three more COVID-19 deaths

Official government figures as of Tuesday show 4 deaths and 1,150 confirmed cases of COVID-19 recorded since 6 September.

Up until then there had been no COVID-19 deaths in the French Territory and only 136 infections recorded during two previous outbreaks.

There were 329 new cases reported in the 24 hours leading up to Tuesday and 15 people with the virus are in intensive care.

A curfew between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. has been put in place until midnight on Monday, 27 September.

All medical personnel in New Caledonia urged to help with COVID-19 outbreak

Sixty-six cases have been recorded since the community outbreak was first detected on Monday and a lockdown has been in place since Tuesday.

There are seven people in intensive care with two in a serious condition.

The positive COVID cases range in age from 20 to 80 and while some are in Noumea hospital, others are in hotels set aside for quarantine.

The virus has been detected across the main island and in the Loyalty Islands, in particular in Lifou.

So far about a dozen clusters have been identified, with contacts being asked to isolate and get tested.

New Caledonia Covid-19 outbreak confirmed in Lifou

An official says the four show mild symptoms and are isolating at home.

The government reported yesterday that seven people with Covid-19 were in hospital in Noumea, including a patient transferred from Lifou.

New Caledonia went into a two-week lockdown at midday Tuesday after three Covid-19 cases were detected in three different locations the day before.

The authorities have restated that the virus is in circulation in the community and urge the public to adhere to the restrictions.

New Caledonians rally against compulsory COVID-19 vaccination

According to Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes, several thousand people joined a march from the seat of government to the Congress building, organised by the group ReinfoCOVID.

The demonstrators are also against the so-called health pass introduced in France.

The rally comes just a day after the Congress unanimously voted to make vaccinations for adults mandatory by the end of the year.

There is no general penalty for those refusing to comply, but medical staff and port and airport workers will be fined US$1,750 if they refuse inoculation.

New Caledonia ponders compulsory COVID-19 vaccination

New Caledonia, which closed its borders in March last year, is COVID-19 free but just 32 percent of the population has been vaccinated.

A leading physician Thierry De Greslan told a meeting in Noumea that the number of vaccinated people must be doubled within a month and to achieve this, jabs must be made mandatory.

The head of the employer's federation Mimsy Daly said all medical staff, including pharmacists, should be mobilised to roll out vaccines every day as to give the territory a chance to deal with the threat.

Fully vaccinated COVID-19 case found in New Caledonia quarantine facility

They say the individual, who had arrived from French Polynesia, has been transferred to the dedicated COVID-19 isolation unit of the main hospital in Noumea.

New Caledonia has been COVID-free since it succeeded to suppress a community outbreak in March with a month-long lockdown.

A government statement said the latest discovery doesn't call into question the need for everyone to be vaccinated to limit the spread of the virus.

French police commander in New Caledonia quits over domestic violence conviction

Colonel Eric Steiger, who had become the head of the gendarmerie in Noumea last month, asked to be relieved of his position following an outcry by New Caledonian politicians.

They had asked the French Interior Minister to remove Colonel Steiger after the French news site Mediapart reported that last year he was given a suspended six-month prison sentence which on appeal was changed to a 6,000 EURO fine.

The minister said he has taken note and a new commander will be appointed soon.

New Caledonian businesses set for faster recovery than other Pacific Island countries

PTI New Zealand Trade Commissioner Glynis Miller said the recent release of the New Caledonia focussed report found that while the pandemic had impacted New Caledonia, the proportion of businesses in New Caledonia that were fully operational at the end of 2020 was significantly higher with 94% compared to 34% for the rest of the Pacific.

Miller commented that the heavy reliance of other Pacific nations on tourism compared with New Caledonia could account for this fact.

Covid-19 bans lifted in New Caledonia

The territory returned to its Covid-free status after a four-week lockdown, but still required people to wear masks in public places.

As of yesterday morning, mass gatherings were again allowed, clearing the way for churches to have services for the first time in five weeks.

Boarding schools have been able to receive students and re-open today.

On 7 March, a cluster of local Covid-19 cases was detected, prompting an immediate sharp lockdown.

A total of 63 infections were recorded since then but none in the past week.