COVID-19 cases

Bougainville to go into lockdown

This follows a surge in Covid-19 infections in recent weeks.

Last weekend alone there were four deaths at the main hospital in Buka and nine cases detected on Monday and Tuesday.

During the lockdown, issued by the regional pandemic controller, Clement Totavun, all educational institutions are to continue to operate, but at new hours of 8am to 2pm.

The main town markets are to close, but road side markets can still trade.

Other businesses, and government offices, can remain open but must apply the safety protocols.

80 community cases reported in NZ

There were also five cases reported in managed isolation.

There was no media conference. In a statement, the Health Ministry said 46 of the cases are unlinked. There are now 287 unlinked cases from the past 14 days.

There are 50 people in hospital, including four people in intensive care. The Ministry said the average age of those in hospital is 44.

Yesterday the Ministry of Health reported 104 community cases of Covid-19.

The two new cases in Waikato - one in Te Awamutu and one in Hamilton - remain unlinked, along with five other cases in the region.

Auckland’s Covid-19 case numbers could soon surpass 100 a day – expert

There were 56 cases in the city yesterday, the highest since 1 September, with three in Waikato and one in the Bay of Plenty.

But there was also hope, as first-dose vaccination rates hit 86 percent.

Covid-19 modeller professor Shaun Hendy said as cases trend upwards, the outbreak was at a critical point.

"It is possible that we could end up in the triple digits so that's something that the government should be considering and it should be developing a plan for what happens ... because that will put real strain on the health system in Auckland," he said.

Victoria records highest daily tally of 1965 new Covid-19 cases, five deaths

It brings the total number of active cases in the state to 17,199 and the total death toll for the current outbreak to 80.

At state-run sites, 41,177 doses of the vaccine were administered, with more than 56 percent of Victoria's over-16 population now fully vaccinated.

It comes as the City of Mildura was thrust into a seven-day lockdown at 11:59pm yesterday in response to a concerning jump in case numbers.

Several key PNG hospitals full with COVID patients

Three medical staff from Western province's Daru Hospital died due to COVID in the past fortnight.

The deputy controller of the pandemic response, Dr Daoni Esorom, said these people were all still in their prime age, but that's what COVID-19 does.

He said the deaths are most likely due to the Delta variant because it spreads fast and is deadlier for those with co-morbidities and the elderly.

Dr Esorom reiterated calls for people throughout PNG to adhere to the "Niupela Pasin" or "New Normal" by following good hygiene and distancing measures.

French Polynesia evacuates COVID-19 cases to Paris

There are 50 people in intensive care and this is why the state has chartered an aircraft to fly the patients to Paris.

Another two people have died in the past day, and 167 people are hospitalised.

This takes the death toll to 585 since COVID-19 first hit.

The figures have come down over the past week and La Premier Polynesie website reports this has prompted the government to announce that from Monday some restrictions on movement will be lifted.

New Caledonia

Meanwhile in New Caledonia the pandemic is worsening.

Deadly signs of Delta spread in PNG border province

Eight people are reported by health authorities to have died from COVID in Western Province in the past week.

The National Pandemic Response deputy controller Dr Daoni Esorom said the deaths were highly likely to be Delta-variant-related.

Western is one of PNG's most remote provinces and one of two that share a border with Indonesia's West Papua region. The porous border is difficult to secure, and many traditional border crossers travel back and forth.

Fears Hurricane Ida could cause a spike in COVID-19

Fortune has not been kind to Joey Cirilo of late.

In March 2020, his girlfriend - who has a pre-existing heart condition - was left immobilised for weeks with a "really bad" case of COVID-19.

Then this year Mr Cirilo, 36, lost his job at a local charity, leaving him without a steady source of income.

And now, his life has been "completely changed" again, he said, this time because of Hurricane Ida.

The most powerful Atlantic storm of the 2021 hurricane season has forced the evacuation of thousands from Louisiana, Mr Cirilo among them.

Tahiti hospital appeals to Macron

Almost 300 COVID-19 patients are in the main hospital in Papeete, with many others being cared for at home because there are no beds left.

Although France and New Caledonia sent some personnel, the hospital says it needs reinforcements as infection rates remain high.

In a post, the hospital reminded Mr Macron of his visit to the hospital in last month when he said they were all part of France and they would all be protected.

'God bless them': NZ-based Samoan church at centre of cluster brushes off racist abuse

One of the messages circulating on social media referred to the community as "stupid coconuts" and said the community should get tested "before you kill us all".

The Pacific community has the highest testing rate in the country to date, with 981 tests per 1000 people compared to 479 for Pākehā. The church leader, who did not wish to be named, said members were disappointed by the attack but they felt no need to retaliate, adding "they can say whatever, it changes nothing".