Some good news from the Pacific this week as World Health Organization figures show a dramatic slowing in the number of new cases across the region with fewer than 20 new cases this week, bringing the total to just over 250.

Containment strategies appear mostly to be working. Very few new cases have appeared in Fiji and the French territories, and even Guam has added only a couple of new cases, notwithstanding the rampant infection rates in the US Navy’s carrier fleet (which has been excluded from the regional total, as have cases in Hawaii).

However, there are grave concerns about the situation in Papua New Guinea, where three new cases were reported and there are concerns that community transmission across three regions could be occurring. Since the beginning of the pandemic, experts have predicted dire results if local transmission takes place in the country, which has an overstretched and underfunded health system.

Please click here to read the full “Coronavirus in the Pacific: weekly briefing” article published at Guardian, written by Tess Newton Cain and Dan McGarry.