Here is the latest news about the Covid-19 outbreak across the Pacific, from Dan McGarry and Tess Newton Cain on Wednesday 10 June.
The total number of cases of Covid-19 infection across the region stands at 305.
This week, Fiji and New Zealand joined 13 of their neighbours in declaring themselves virus-free. New Zealand’s successful eradication of Covid-19 led the Cook Islands to relax its travel ban slightly between the two countries, allowing workers and residents to enter.
Some in the Pacific are hoping the drop in case numbers could lead to a restarting of tourism, but others are still fearful, mindful of limited public health infrastructure in the region – and globally, no vaccine.
Hundreds of cruise ship workers, most of whom had been stuck in isolation for months on board empty ships, were finally flown back to Fiji and Vanuatu by their employer, Carnival Australia.
The economic downturn continues to bite. This week, the Samoa Times, founded 19 years ago, was forced to close due to the Covid-19 crisis.
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.