COVID-19 outbreak

North Korea: The mystery of its Covid outbreak

The BBC has pieced together information, through conversations with people who have managed to contact those living in North Korea, and by using publicly available resources.

Voices inside North Korea

Kim Hwang-sun was sitting alone in his kitchen in Seoul when his phone rang. It was a Chinese broker with the news he'd been waiting for. His family could talk.

It has been 10 years since Hwang-sun escaped North Korea alone. His two children, grandchildren and his 85-year-old mother are all still there, and he's given up hope of ever getting them out.

Antarctic outpost hit by Covid-19 outbreak

Since 14 December, at least 16 of the 25 workers at the Princess Elisabeth Polar Station have caught the virus.

Officials say cases remain mild so far.

"The situation isn't dramatic," Joseph Cheek, a project manager for the International Polar Foundation, told the BBC.

"While it has been an inconvenience to have to quarantine certain members of the staff who caught the virus, it hasn't significantly affected our work at the station overall," Cheek said.

All medical personnel in New Caledonia urged to help with COVID-19 outbreak

Sixty-six cases have been recorded since the community outbreak was first detected on Monday and a lockdown has been in place since Tuesday.

There are seven people in intensive care with two in a serious condition.

The positive COVID cases range in age from 20 to 80 and while some are in Noumea hospital, others are in hotels set aside for quarantine.

The virus has been detected across the main island and in the Loyalty Islands, in particular in Lifou.

So far about a dozen clusters have been identified, with contacts being asked to isolate and get tested.

Big surge of COVID-19 cases in French Polynesia

Officials reported 2164 new cases and 13 deaths in the 24 hours to 8am Wednesday (local time).

There are 294 people currently in hospital, including 38 people in intensive care.

The territory now has 7213 active cases.

Since the start of the pandemic 32,705 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in French Polynesia and 224 people have died.

The vast majority occurred after the borders re-opened to tourism in July last year, but the Delta variant is responsible for the latest surge.

New Zealand COVID-19 outbreak traced to NSW

Jacinda Ardern said that genome sequencing has detected the Delta strain, and that it originated in NSW.

"We are dealing with the Delta variant ... our case has originated in Australia."

"Now the job is to work out how and when it got here,” Ms Ardern said.

The NZ Government will examine whether the positive case leaked from one of the country's managed isolation facilities

New Zealand has detected an additional two COVID cases, bringing the total in the current outbreak to seven.