New Caledonia extends Covid-19 lockdown

The decision was announced after talks involving medical experts, the French High Commission, the government and the customary Senate.

The extension was the second time that a week had been added to the original lockdown declared on 19 March.

From 20 April the emergency measures will be changed, with details of what will be eased to be announced in the course of next week.

The customary Senate had been in favour of extending the restrictions for longer while some leaders in the mainly Kanak Loyalty Islands province asked for the terms of confinement to be relaxed.

Liverpool legend Sir Kenny Dalglish in hospital with Covid-19 coronavirus

Dalglish was admitted to hospital on Wednesday for treatment of an infection which required intravenous antibiotics.

The 69-year-old former Celtic and Scotland footballer was routinely tested for coronavirus after being admitted.

"Unexpectedly, the test result was positive but he remains asymptomatic," the Dalglish family said.

Dalglish won the Scottish league title four times before moving to Liverpool in 1977. At Liverpool, his honours included eight league Championships as a player and manager and three European Cups.

PNG opens Covid-19 centre

The facility had been made possible by the PNG Sports Foundation.

Called the National Response Centralised Facility and run by Dr Gary Nou, it will serve Gul, Central and the National Capital District, but also be on standby for other PNG provinces.

The Post Courier newspaper reported the hospital had 76 beds, and was staffed with 13 doctors, 20 nursing officers and 20 community health workers.

PNG has two confirmed cases of Covid-19 but the country's ability to test for the virus was limited.


New York has more cases of coronavirus than any country

The state's confirmed caseload of Covid-19 jumped by 10,000 on Thursday to 159,937, placing it ahead of Spain (153,000 cases) and Italy (143,000).

China, where the virus emerged last year, has reported 82,000 cases.

The US as a whole has recorded 462,000 cases and nearly 16,500 deaths. Globally there are 1.6 million cases and 95,000 deaths.

While New York state leads the world in coronavirus cases, its death toll (7,000) lags behind Spain (15,500) and Italy (18,000), though it is more than double the official figure from China (3,300).

French Polynesia curfew extended to 29 April

The French High Commissioner Dominique Sorain made the announcement at a briefing with the French Polynesian president Edouard Fritch.

The curfew, which was first declared on 27 March, applies between 8pm and 5am.

Mr Sorain said the restrictions were needed because of the steady but slow progression of the virus which to date has infected 51 people in French Polynesia.

He said an Air Tahiti Nui airliner chartered by the French government was due to return from Paris at the weekend, bringing in 25 tonnes of medical supplies.

EU to redirect funds for pandemic response in Pacific

The bloc's ambassador to the Pacific, Sujiro Seam, said 15 Pacific states and four territories would be eligible for the support.

The money will be redirected from existing EU-funded programmes in the Pacific.

Mr Seam said the money would help strengthen countries' preparations, the capacity of their health systems and mitigate the pandemic's socioeconomic impact.

A detailed support programme for the Pacific will be announced "in the coming days".


Coronavirus: Twitter boss pledges $1bn for relief effort

According to Mr Dorsey, the donation represented approximately 28% of his wealth.

He made the announcement on Twitter, writing that the "needs are increasingly urgent".

Mr Dorsey did not lay out exactly where the funds would be sent to help in the battle against Covid-19.

In the US there is a shortage of ventilators and personal protective equipment, and business and individuals are also struggling economically.

Mr Dorsey will use shares he owns in Square to fund the donations which will be distributed through the Start Small Foundation.

Managed transit allows stranded New Zealand travellers to get home

“There are millions of people around the world stranded by COVID-19 and we are continuing to do our part to help them get home,” Mr Peters said. “Accordingly, Cabinet agreed yesterday that New Zealand would seek reciprocal transit arrangements with a number of countries to enable our citizens to transit each other’s airports.

“One barrier to New Zealanders getting home at present is the transit restrictions imposed by a number of countries. We continue to seek assistance from these countries to enable New Zealanders to transit through their airports in order to come home.

Fiji Covid-19 cases now at 15

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama says the latest case came after a batch of 25 samples were tested overnight.

He said the confirmed cases was the husband of an existing patient from Lautoka, someone who had done a Zumba exercise class with Fiji's first coronavirus case.

Mr Bainimarama said the 33-year-old man was now in isolation.

The man represented the sixth confirmed transmission that could be traced back to Fiji's first case, a flight attendant who had returned from overseas.

The government said all 15 patients remained in stable condition.

Plea to Pasifika from broadcaster Sela Alo after testing positive for Covid-19

The General Manager of Content at Pacific Media Network announced on Instagram and Facebook that he had tested positive for COVID-19.

In an exclusive interview with PMN News, Sela Alo says one of the main reasons he came out publicly with the announcement was his concern for Pacific communities.

“I know from what I see and what I hear, they are flouting the rules of staying in self-isolation and not taking this seriously enough.”

The symptoms that led to Alo getting tested were in line with what the health authorities have told the public.