Samoa bank blames Covid-19 for loss

This loss - equal to about $US1.2 million - has been announced in the recently released annual report.

The bank's acting chairman said at the outset, the results show the full impact of Covid-19 on the tourism sector, which accounts for 69 percent of the loan portfolio value.

The report said the impact on the industry has also affected businesses and people who have depended on tourism for income.


Covid-19: XBB.1.5 variant detected in Fiji

Due to this, the Health Ministry states it is ready to review some public health border measures.

The sub-variant, also known as Kraken, was descended from the Omicron XBB subvariant, itself a cross between two earlier strains: BA.2.75 and BA.2.10.1.

It comes just a day after New Zealand revealed the variant had also been detected in the country late last week.

The World Health Organization said it has been detected in at least 31 other countries.

Medical superintendent Jemesa Tudravu told FBC news the variant had high transmissibility.

Players could play at Australian Open with Covid

The health policy, which Tiley said reflected what was happening in the wider community, is a marked change from strict protocols which surrounded the tournament over the past two years.

The 2021 tournament took place in a biosecure bubble with spectators shut out for several days after an outbreak of the virus in the community, while last year nine-times champion Novak Djokovic was deported because of his stance on vaccines.

"We just wanted to follow what's currently in the community," Tiley told reporters at Melbourne Park.

2 deaths, 19 new Covid cases in Fiji

The Ministry of Health says the first Covid-19 death is a 64-year- old man from Suva.

He was presented at a health centre on 23 December with pre-existing medical conditions and later tested positive for Covid-19.

FijiVillage reports the Ministry also says he later passed away on the same day.

He was vaccinated with 2 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The Ministry says the second death reported was of a 34-year-old female Tuvaluan citizen living in Fiji since 2018.

She was admitted at the CWM Hospital in Suva with diabetes complications on 6 December.

Covid-19 variant keeps changing warns immunologist

The BA.2.75 subvariant, is a recently identified second generation subvariant of BA.2, the dominant variant currently circulating in New Zealand.  

Early evidence from overseas suggests BA.2.75 is slightly more transmissible but unlikely to cause severe illness as the previous Delta variant.

PM News reports Dr Helen Petousis-Harris says people need to be sensible and not rely on vaccines doing all the work. 

“You have to also help it out a bit. People who have been vaccinated and had a booster and had an infection have reasonable protection against severe disease.

New Covid-19 cases on Niue

RNZ Pacific reports there are 169 active cases in the community.

439 cases have been reported in total since March this year.


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People rush to book travel as borders finally reopen

Passport applications for Chinese citizens wishing to travel internationally will resume from 8 January, the immigration administration said.

It follows an announcement on Monday that ended almost three years of strict quarantine rules for arrivals.

Travel sites have since reported a spike in traffic.

But Chinese tourists will not have unfettered access to all countries.

Samoa reports 5 new Covid cases

The total cumulative number of Covid-19 positive cases (community/border) now stands at 15,975.

According to the ministry, of this number 15,783 are community cases, and 192 are border cases since November 2020.

The first round of booster doses administered to date is 79,313.

The second round of booster doses administered to date is 1,180.


China allows some Covid-19 cases to quarantine at home

Reuters reports most cases are asymptomatic infections and mild cases, with no special treatment required, the National Health Commission said in a statement.

"Asymptomatic persons and mild cases can be isolated at home while strengthening health monitoring, and they can transfer to designated hospitals for treatment in a timely manner if their condition worsens," the NHC said.

Niue covid cases continues to rise

That takes the active case tally to 66, with three recovered cases.

180 cases have been recorded in total since Covid-19 arrived at the border 'via air from New Zealand' in March this year.