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2020 coronavirus pandemic in Oceania

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2020 coronavirus pandemic in Oceania
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationOceania
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
Index caseMelbourne, Victoria, Australia
Arrival date25 January 2020
(2 months, 1 week and 2 days ago)
Confirmed cases6,046[1]
Recovered447[1]
Deaths
28[1]
Territories
8[1]

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have reached Oceania in January 2020.

Pandemic by country

Map of the outbreak in Australia

Australia

On 1 March, it was reported that a 78-year-old man from Western Australia, who was a passenger on the Diamond Princess, had become the first person to die from coronavirus in Australia.[2][3]

As of 1st April, the death toll in Australia stands at 20 with approximately 4,711 cases reported.[citation needed]

Chile

Easter Island

On 19 March, the local government of Easter Island (Rapa Nui) ordered a lockdown of the island and requested LATAM Airlines to evacuate all tourists on the island.[4] However, on 24 March, the first case of coronavirus was reported on the island.[5]

Fiji

As of 2 April, there are 7 confirmed cases in Fiji.[6]

France

French Polynesia

On 11 March, the first case in French Polynesia was confirmed. The first patient was Maina Sage, a member of the French National Assembly.[7]

New Caledonia

As of 25 March, there have been fourteen cases in New Caledonia.[8]

New Zealand

As of 3 April, New Zealand has reported 868 confirmed and probable cases.[9] The first case, confirmed on 26 February, was in a citizen who had arrived from Iran.[10] The second case was in a citizen who had recently traveled to northern Italy.[11] The first local transmission of the virus happened on 4 March, located in Auckland.[12] On 29 March, New Zealand reported its first fatality, a woman in her 70s from the West Coast region.[13][14] As of 3 April, 103 people have recovered.[9]

Papua New Guinea

On 20 March, the first case in Papua New Guinea was confirmed.[15]

Swabs were taken and sent to the Medical Research Institute in Goroka for testing. Three announcements followed. First the Health Minister Jelta Wong declared a probable case, and Prime Minister James Marape followed up by declaring the result as negative.[16][17] Further tests were conducted and the prime minister confirmed the positive result for COVID-19.[18] Police Minister Bryan Kramer then stated on Facebook that the inconsistent results were due to faulty test equipment, and that requests had been made for further testing to be conducted in Melbourne.[19]

United States

Guam

As of 3 April, the US territory of Guam has had 82 confirmed cases of the virus, with several further potential cases under, and 3 deaths investigation.[20][21][22]

Hawaii

As of 19 March, there have been 22 confirmed cases in the state of Hawaii.[23]

Northern Mariana Islands

On 28 March the islands confirmed their first two coronavirus cases.[24]

Prevention in other countries and territories

Australia

Norfolk Island

As of 20 March Norfolk Island has not had any cases. As a precautionary measure the government has imposed a 32-day travel ban and declared a state of emergency.[25] Administrator Eric Hutchinson stated that the measures were necessary due to the remote island's extremely limited health capacity.[25]

France

Wallis and Futuna

As of 28 March the territory has remained corona free. On 4 March Wallis and Futuna turned away a cruise ship over fears of infection; the possibility of denying entry to another ship by the end of the month is also under consideration.[26] Incoming flights have also been curtailed, save for those delivering essential supplies.[27]

Kiribati

On 1 February, the government of Kiribati put all visas from China on hold and required new arrivals to fill in a health form and travellers from countries with the coronavirus to go through a self-quarantine period.[28] Despite not having any cases, on 28 March President Taneti Maamau declared a state of emergency.[29]

Marshall Islands

On 24 January, the Republic of the Marshall Islands issued a travel advisory that requires any visitors to the country to have spent at least 14 days in a country free of the virus.[30] On 1 March, the ban was extended to China, Macau, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Italy and Iran.[31]

As of 18 March, all incoming international travel has been temporarily suspended, as well as some intra-island flight services.[32]

Micronesia

By 3 February, David W. Panuelo, President of the Federated States of Micronesia, had signed a declaration banning Micronesian citizens from travelling to China and other affected countries.[33]

By 5 March, Micronesia had introduced a strict travel ban, banning anyone who had been in China anytime since January 2020 — or had been in any other affected country in the last 14 days — from entering Micronesia.[34] As of 18 March, all schools in the country have also been closed.[32]

Nauru

As of 28 March, there have been no cases. The government has, however, declared a national emergency as a preventive measure, suspending all but one weekly flight to the country and instituting a 14-day quarantine for all arrivals.[35]

New Zealand Associated Countries

Cook Islands

As of 28 March, the Cook Islands have not had any cases. As a precautionary measure, all most international and many inter-island flights have been cancelled, and non-essential surgeries cancelled.[36][37][38] On 26 March Prime Minister Henry Puna announced that 'Code Yellow' measures would be in place in the islands, by which public gatherings are restricted.[39]

Niue

As of 28 March 2020, there have been no cases in Niue. As a precautionary measure the government has banned visitors from highly affected countries.[38]

Tokelau

As of 28 March 2020, there have been no cases in Tokelau. As a precautionary measure boats arriving from affected countries have been banned from landing.[38] On 19 March all incoming travel was suspended, except for Tokelauans.[40]

Palau

The President of Palau Thomas Remengesau Jr. issued an executive order suspending all charter flights from China, Macau, and Hong Kong from 1–29 February.[41] Schools will be also be shut starting in April.[38]

Samoa

Travel into Samoa has been increasingly restricted in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into the country. Before entering the country, people must have spent at least 14 days in a country free of the virus, as well as complete a medical clearance.[42] Two Samoan nationals who had briefly stopped in China were placed into quarantine on 28 January for two weeks at the Faleolo District Hospital.[needs update][43][44] Three students and a former student were evacuated[when?] with assistance from New Zealand.[45] On 9 February, eight Samoan nationals travelling from India were denied entry into the country after catching a connecting flight in Singapore.[46]

On 22 February, Samoa banned all cruise ships from visiting the country.[47] On 29 February, the government announced restrictions on air travel, with the frequency of international flights into Samoa being reduced from 2 March.[48]

On 18 March, Samoa reported its first suspected case of the coronavirus, an individual who had traveled from New Zealand. Bodily samples from the person were taken to Melbourne for testing.[49][50] In response, the Samoan Government required all travelers including Samoan citizens to undergo a medical checkup upon returning.[51] On 20 March, Samoa declared a state of emergency, closing its borders to all but returning citizens.[52]

On 21 March, the Samoan Health Ministry confirmed that eight suspected cases of the coronavirus were being tested. All of these individuals had a prior history of travel or contact with relatives who traveled abroad.[53][54] On 22 March, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi announced that the first suspected case of COVID-19 had been cleared of the virus. While he confirmed that six of the eight suspected cases had tested negative for the coronavirus, they were still awaiting test results for the remaining two patients from New Zealand.[55] That same day, Samoa also suspended air travel with Australia and restricted flights from New Zealand.[56]

On 24 March, it was reported that a total of seven suspected cases of the coronavirus were awaiting testing in New Zealand.[57]

On March 25, Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi announced that individuals that didn't adhere to the COVID-19 restriction will be fined.[58] On 26 March, the Samoan Government introduced lockdown measures including banning fishing boats from entering Samoa and fining businesses that breached the quarantine. Only cargo ships carrying goods and petrol will be allowed to enter Samoa.[59]

Solomon Islands

As of 28 March, there have been no cases. As a precautionary measure the government has stepped up checks on incoming visitors, and introduced restrictions on visitors who have visited countries deemed high risk.[60] On 27 March Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare suspended all flights into the country, and declared a precautionary state of emergency in Honiara, by which most entertainment venues would be closed (churches are exempt from the order).[61]

On 31 March, Franco Rodie, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, ordered the closure of all schools in the Solomon Islands.[62]

Tonga

As of 28 March 2020, there have been no cases in the country. As a precautionary measure, various travel and quarantining restrictions have been put in place.[35] Cruise ships and yachts have also been banned from docking in the country.[63] On 27 March Prime Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa announced that the country would be under a lock-down 29 March-5 April.[64]

Tuvalu

As of 28 March 2020, there have been no cases in the country. As a precautionary measure, visitors will not be allowed to land without first undergoing 14 days of isolation in a third party state.[38] Circa 26 March the acting governor general declared a state of emergency.[65]

United Kingdom

Pitcairn Islands

As of 28 March, there have been no cases in the British territory. As a precautionary measure, all passenger services to the islands have been suspended.[66]

United States

American Samoa

As of 24 March, the US territory has not had any cases. On 6 March, the American Samoan government introduced new entry restrictions including restricting flight numbers and requiring travelers from Hawaii to spend 14 days in Hawaii and obtain a health clearance from health authorities.[67] On 11 March, a government task-force was set up to deal with the virus and quarantining measures have been put in place for incoming visitors.[68] On 14 March, half of the 210 passengers on a returning Hawaiian Airlines flight were required to self-quarantine at home.[69] Following a trip to the US mainland, Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga self-isolated as a precautionary measure on 16 March.[70]

On 26 March, Iulogologo Joseph Pereira, executive assistant to the American Samoa Governor and the head of the territory's coronavirus task force, acknowledged that the territory did not have facilities to test samples of the Covid-19 virus, having to rely on testing facilities in Atlanta, Georgia.[71]

Vanuatu

As of 28 March 2020, there have been no cases in the country. Travel restrictions and quarantine measures have been put in place for those entering the country.[60] On 22 March, Vanuatu's health authorities confirmed that tests for a resort worker with a suspected case of coronavirus had returned negative.[72] On 26 March President Tallis Obed Moses declared a state of emergency in the country.[73] A tourist on a cruise ship visiting the island of Aneityum had tested positive for the virus, prompting a lockdown on the island.[73]

See also

References

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[1]

External links

  1. ^ "Coronavirus Update Live". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
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