World reacts to UK DJ Dimension bringing New Zealand its first community Omicron case

UK-based Dimension, AKA Robert Etheridge, confirmed in an Instagram post he tested positive for Omicron, making him New Zealand's first community case of the fast-spreading COVID-19 variant.

The Ministry of Health said he arrived on a flight from the UK on December 16 and after three negative test results in managed isolation, was allowed to complete his final three days in self-isolation.

But the Ministry said he didn't wait for his negative day nine test result before leaving self-isolation, as required, and went on to visit multiple venues including a nightclub.

NSW records 18,278 new Covid-19 cases and two deaths

Hospitalisations have risen to 1066, up from 901 in the previous reporting period, with 83 patients in intensive care.

There are five times as many people being treated for Covid-19 in the state's hospitals as there were in mid-December, although the number of people in intensive care has increased at a slower rate.

Premier Dominic Perrottet last week said the health system "remains strong" and the state was in a "very strong position" despite the fast-growing case numbers and increase in hospitalisations because of the Omicron variant outbreak.

Pritchard out of coma

The 38-year-old was reportedly on life support as a result of complications from Covid-19.

NRL broadcast legend and former coach Phil Gould posted to social media on Saturday night he'd been told by Pritchard's brother the long-time NRL forward was out of a coma and in a ward.

"Lungs are still weak, but in stable condition. Will keep you updated. Prayers are helping. Thanks everyone," Gould posted on Twitter.

Pritchard was believed to have a collapsed lung and other major health issues as a result of the virus.

Surge in Covid-19 cases in Fiji

The Ministry of Health has reported two deaths taking the death toll to 700 since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Both cases had pre-existing medical conditions according to Health Permanent Secretary, Dr James Fong.

He said while both these deaths occurred in individuals who have been immunised with 2 doses of the vaccine, they both had significant underlying medical conditions and were over the age of 50.

He adds it is known that these factors place a person at higher risk of severe disease, even if fully vaccinated.

Former Kiwis forward hit by Covid

Australian media reports said Pritchard was on life support as a result of complications from Covid-19.

The 38-year-old was believed to have a collapsed lung and other major health issues as a result of the virus.

Along with playing 27 tests for New Zealand, Pritchard had a long NRL career with Penrith, Parramatta and the Bulldogs.

He also played in the UK Super League for Hull and made eight appearances for Samoa before retiring at the end of 2017.


Covid-19 Fiji: 1 death, 309 new cases amid third wave

This brings the total number of active cases to 780 as health authorities tackle a third wave of the coronavirus outbreak across the country.

The Government also confirmed that out of the latest cases, 115 were recorded on 28 December.

A 62-year-old Covid patient had died at home on Christmas Day. He was fully vaccinated and had suffered severe respiratory distress.

The death toll is now at 698, with 696 of them from the latest outbreak that began in April this year.

WHO chief optimistic Covid will be beaten in 2022

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu warned against "narrow nationalism and vaccine hoarding" in a new year statement.

His comments come two years since the WHO was first notified of cases of an unknown pneumonia strain in China.

Global Covid cases now stand at 287m, while nearly 5.5m people have died.

Across the world people are marking the new year but celebrations are muted, with many countries wanting to discourage crowds gathering.

Fiji ramps up Covid-19 protocols amid case spike

 From 1 January 2022, travellers to Fiji must now produce a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test taken no more than two calendar days before the scheduled day of departure, the government said on Wednesday.

Prior to this, travellers had to return a negative PCR test 72 hours before leaving for Fiji.

The Health Ministry made changes to its travel protocols overnight as senior officials prepared for a possible third wave of the coronavirus outbreak.

Hundreds given false Covid results in Sydney lab error

The mistake, which took place over the Christmas period, was due to a "data processing error".

The Australian state of New South Wales is seeing rising infection numbers following the arrival of the hyper-infectious Omicron Covid variant.

Officials say an increase in swabbing tests has caused massive backlogs.

Some of those affected have expressed concern that they may have unknowingly infected their loved ones over Christmas.

Fiji braces for Covid-19 third wave

Two weeks ago, Fiji was reporting less than 10 cases of the Covid-19.

This week, the Health Ministry has confirmed 208 new cases of Covid-19 in the community with 20 reported on Christmas Day, 109 on Boxing Day and 79 on Monday.

On 24 December, the ministry reported 109 new cases; 40 of them were recorded on 23 December and 69 cases on Christmas Eve.

Fiji reopened its borders to international travellers on 1 December and thousands of tourists have arrived from its partner countries such as New Zealand, Australia and the United States.