Covid strikes All Blacks again with Will Jordan out of Ireland test

Head coach Ian Foster, assistant coaches John Plumtree and midfielders David Havili and Jack Goodhue are already isolating after contracting the virus.

First-five Richie Mo'unga missed Tuesday's training with a stomach bug, but has tested negative for Covid.

Former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has been called in to help the All Blacks prepare for Saturday's test at a sold out Eden Park.

The quartet are isolating and it's understood they won't re-join the team before Saturday's test at a sold out Eden Park.

Covid-19 booster shots for children now available in Samoa

The Ministry of Health is advising members of the public of the availability of the booster shot at different sites including district hospitals as well as the E.P.I. Building at Moto'otua and the MOH Health Center at Matagialalua. 

This service is available from 9am to 4pm. 

The ministry said, "Please be advised that children ages 12-17 years can only get their booster vaccination if there has been any six months interval since their second primary series vaccination.”

Sir Mick Jagger tests positive for Covid

The band said the show at the Johan Cruijff Arena would be rescheduled and that they were "deeply sorry".

Sir Mick, 78, added in a message to fans: "Thank you for your patience and understanding."

The band are currently on their Sixty tour, where they had planned to play 14 shows in 10 European countries.

Tickets for the original show will be honoured for the new date once the show is postponed.

The Stones had already played three of their tour dates, including one in the UK at Anfield in Liverpool.

Beijing tests millions to stem Covid-19 cluster linked to 24-hour bar

The outbreak of 228 cases linked to the Heaven Supermarket Bar, which had just reopened as restrictions in Beijing eased last week, highlights how hard it will be for China to make a success of its "zero Covid" policy as much of the rest of the world opts to learn how to live with the virus.

The re-emergence of infections is also raising new concerns about the outlook for the world's second largest economy. China is only just shaking off a heavy blow from a long lockdown in Shanghai - its most populous city and commercial nerve centre - that also disrupted global supply chains.

Shanghai lockdown: China eases Covid restrictions after two months

At midnight local time (16:00 GMT Tuesday), restrictions were relaxed to allow most people to move freely around the city of some 25 million people.

But at least 650,000 residents will remain confined to their homes.

China's overall policy of "zero Covid" remains in place and people catching Covid face quarantine or hospital.

Their close contacts also face the prospect of removal to quarantine and the area immediately around where they live being locked down again.

New Caledonia's Covid rates hit nearly 300

The latest figure, covering the past week, brings the total number of cases since September to 61,049.

The incidence of the virus is slightly higher than a month ago but down sharply since the peak in February.

The death toll remains at 312 - all of them died after the Delta variant entered the community in September.

The official update makes no mention of any Covid-19 patient still in hospital care.

Most pandemic-related restrictions have been lifted, but vaccinated travellers must still take a test two days after arrival.


Covid-19 led to 15 million deaths globally, not the 5m reported - World Health Organisation

There were 14.9 million excess deaths associated with Covid-19 by the end of 2021, the UN body said on Thursday.

The official count of deaths directly attributable to Covid-19 and reported to WHO in that period, from January 2020 to the end of December 2021, is slightly more than 5.4m.

The WHO's excess mortality figures reflect people who died of Covid-19 as well as those who died as an indirect result of the outbreak, including people who could not access healthcare for other conditions when systems were overwhelmed during huge waves of infection.

Samoa doctors declare 'miracle' as toddler survives Covid, severe pneumonia

Head paediatrician Papalii Kamu Tito said the girl has been taken home after being in an induced coma for five days.

The toddler was fighting for her life in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for over a week. Papalii and his team were not sure she would make it.

"She had Covid-19 and so that did not help with her condition as she suffered from severe pneumonia, we had to put her in a coma to allow her body to heal. She was in a critical condition. It is a miracle she is alive," said Papali'i.

How Covid-scarred Shanghai will finally exit lockdown

So they've ordered a mass clean-up - an army of people disinfecting thousands of compounds and residential areas aiming to eradicate the virus.

Then China's financial capital will open up, but it will be gradual, tentative, cautious.

The brutal "war" against Omicron has left a scarred city. People as old as 100 were among those who tested positive and were taken to quarantine centres. There were very few exceptions.

Covid-19 reveals gaps in Kiribati's health care system

Doctors Without Borders, an international humanitarian medical non-governmental organisation, is leading the initiative which is responding to the Omicron outbreak that started in February.

Kiribati has recorded more than 3000 cases and 13 Covid-related deaths.

Medical coordinator Alison Jones said they're identifying gaps in the health care system.