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COVID-19 pandemic in Oceania

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COVID-19 pandemic in Oceania
COVID-19 Outbreak Cases in Oceania.svg
Map of the COVID-19 pandemic in Oceania (as of 14 April 2020)
  10,000+ Confirmed cases
  1000-9999 Confirmed cases
  100-999 Confirmed cases
  10–99 Confirmed cases
  1–9 Confirmed cases
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationOceania
First caseMelbourne, Victoria, Australia
Arrival date25 January 2020
(1 year, 1 month and 1 week ago)
OriginWuhan, Hubei, China
Confirmed cases17,757 (as of 26 July 2020)
Recovered12,228 (as of 26 July 2020)
Territories
10

The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have reached Oceania on 25 January 2020 with the first confirmed case reported in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.[1] It has since spread elsewhere in the region,[2] although many small Pacific island nations have thus far avoided the outbreak by closing their international borders. As of 26 July, ten Oceania sovereign states have yet to report a case - Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated State of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

Pandemic by country and territory[edit source | edit]

Summary table of confirmed cases in Oceania (as of 27 July 2020).
Location Confirmed Cases Deaths Recoveries Ref.
Australia 14,935 161 9,311 [3]
Template:Country data Hawaii Hawaii 1,620 26 1,167 [4]
New Zealand 1,206 22 1,513 [5]
Template:Country data Guam Guam 337 5 244 [6][7]
French Polynesia 62 0 60 [8]
Papua New Guinea 62 1 11 [9]
Template:Country data Northern Mariana Islands Northern Mariana Islands 38 2 19 [10][11]
Fiji 27 0 18 [12]
New Caledonia 22 0 21 [13]
Template:Country data Easter Island Easter Island 5 0 5 [14][15]
Total 17,757 211 12,228

Australia[edit source | edit]

Map of the outbreak in Australia

On 25 January, the first case of a SARS-CoV-2 infection was reported, that of a Chinese citizen who arrived from Guangzhou on 19 January. The patient received treatment in Melbourne.[1][16] On the same day, three other patients tested positive in Sydney after returning from Wuhan.[17][18][19]

On 1 March, a 78-year-old man from Western Australia, who had been a passenger on the Diamond Princess, became the first person to die from coronavirus in Australia. He died in a hospital in Perth.[20][21][22]

As of 27 July 2020, Australia has reported a total of 14,935 cases, 9,311 recoveries and 161 deaths.[3] There are currently 4,714 active cases in Australia, with most being in Victoria.

Chile[edit source | edit]

Easter Island[edit source | edit]

On 19 March, the local government of Easter Island ordered a lockdown of the island and requested LATAM Airlines to evacuate all tourists on the island.[23] However, on 24 March, the first case of coronavirus was reported on the island.[24] By the start of April, 5 confirmed cases had been reported. All cases have recovered after some weeks and no new cases have been reported since.[14][15]

Fiji[edit source | edit]

The first case of the disease in Fiji was reported on 19 March 2020.

As of 20 July, Fiji has a total of 27 COVID-19 cases, all from the islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.

France[edit source | edit]

For further information, see COVID-19 pandemic in France

French Polynesia[edit source | edit]

On 11 March, the first case in French Polynesia was confirmed. The first patient was Maina Sage, a member of the French National Assembly.[25] There were 39 confirmed cases on 4 April. A ban on sales of alcohol was extended until the crisis is over.[26]

As of 27 July 2020, 62 cases and 60 recoveries had been reported in French Polynesia.[8]

New Caledonia[edit source | edit]

As of 18 July, there have been twenty two cases in New Caledonia.[27] President Thierry Santa went into self-isolation on 4 April after a member of his staff tested positive.[28]

New Zealand[edit source | edit]

Map of COVID-19 cases in New Zealand by District Health Board (DHB)

As of 27 July, New Zealand has reported 1,556 cases (1,206 confirmed and 350 probable cases), with 21 active cases.[5] On 28 February, the first confirmed case was a citizen who had arrived from Iran on 26 February.[29] The second case was a citizen who had recently traveled to northern Italy.[30] The first local transmission of the virus happened on 4 March in Auckland.[31] On 29 March, New Zealand reported its first fatality, a woman in her 70s from the West Coast region.[32][33] On 11 April, the country confirmed its second death, a woman in her 90s from a Christchurch rest home.[34] As of 27 July, 1,513 people have recovered and 22 people have died.[5] Following 24 consecutive days of no new cases, two new imported cases were reported on 16 June.[35]

As many as 100,000 travellers will now be allowed to go home as travel restrictions imposed on 26 March are relaxed.[36] As of 5 April, no cases have been reported in the associated states of Cook Islands and Niue and the dependent territories of Tokelau and the Ross Dependency[citation needed] (see below).

In April 2020, New Zealand became one of the few countries to successfully manage the coronavirus pandemic, with only five new cases reported in a day. As of April 27, the country recorded 19 deaths and fewer than 1,500 COVID cases. However, officials stated that it did not mean complete eradication of the virus, and warned against complacency. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the country was set to ease the severe coronavirus lockdown, as they tackled the pandemic by adopting a “go hard and go early” approach. She stated that the government was only reopening the economy, while the social distancing restrictions were still applied.[37][38] On May 4, the country marked the first day without the reports of any new case of COVID-19, a month after the country announced lockdown.[39] On May 5, the country recorded no new cases of coronavirus for the second day in a row.[40] However, Ardern warned that it would take “a long time” to reopen the country’s borders for international travelers, at least until 2021.[41]

Papua New Guinea[edit source | edit]

On 20 March, the first case in Papua New Guinea was confirmed.[42]

Swabs were taken and sent to the Medical Research Institute in Goroka for testing. Three announcements followed. First the Health Minister Jelta Wong declared a probable case, and Prime Minister James Marape followed up by declaring the result as negative.[43][44] Further tests were conducted and the prime minister confirmed the positive result for COVID-19.[45] Police Minister Bryan Kramer then stated on Facebook that the inconsistent results were due to faulty test equipment, and that requests had been made for further testing to be conducted in Melbourne.[46] As of 27 July 2020, Papua New Guinea had 62 cases, 11 recoveries and 1 death.[9]

United States[edit source | edit]

For further information, see COVID-19 pandemic in the United States

Guam[edit source | edit]

As of 24 July, the US territory of Guam has had 337 confirmed cases of the virus, 244 recoveries, and five deaths.[47]

Hawaii[edit source | edit]

Northern Mariana Islands[edit source | edit]

As of 22 July, the islands confirmed 38 coronavirus cases and two deaths.[11]

Prevention in other countries and territories[edit source | edit]

Australia[edit source | edit]

Norfolk Island[edit source | edit]

As of 3 April, Norfolk Island has not had any cases. As a precautionary measure the government has imposed a 32-day travel ban and declared a state of emergency.[48] Administrator Eric Hutchinson stated that the measures were necessary due to the remote island's extremely limited health capacity.[48] Lockdown measures began to be lifted from 6 May.[49]

France[edit source | edit]

Wallis and Futuna[edit source | edit]

As of 6 May, the territory has remained free of coronavirus.[50] On 4 March, Wallis and Futuna turned away a cruise ship over fears of infection; the possibility of denying entry to another ship by the end of the month is also under consideration.[51] Incoming flights have also been curtailed, save for those delivering essential supplies.[52] On 23 April, the island began repatriating its 300 inhabitants stranded on New Caledonia.[53]

Kiribati[edit source | edit]

On 1 February, the government of Kiribati put all visas from China on hold and required new arrivals to fill in a health form and travellers from countries with the coronavirus to go through a self-quarantine period.[54] Despite not having any case, on 28 March President Taneti Maamau declared a state of emergency.[55]

Marshall Islands[edit source | edit]

On 24 January, the Republic of the Marshall Islands issued a travel advisory that requires any visitors to the country to have spent at least 14 days in a country free of the virus.[56] On 1 March, the ban was extended to China, Macau, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Italy, and Iran.[57]

As of 18 March, all incoming international travel has been temporarily suspended, as well as some intra-island flight services.[58]

Micronesia[edit source | edit]

By 3 February, David W. Panuelo, President of the Federated States of Micronesia, had signed a declaration banning Micronesian citizens from travelling to China and other affected countries.[59]

By 5 March, Micronesia had introduced a strict travel ban, banning anyone who had been in China anytime since January 2020 — or had been in any other affected country in the last 14 days — from entering Micronesia.[60] As of 18 March, all schools in the country have also been closed.[58]

Nauru[edit source | edit]

As of 6 July, there have been no cases. The government has, however, declared a national emergency as a preventive measure, suspending all but one weekly flight to the country and instituting a 14-day quarantine for all arrivals.[61]

New Zealand Associated Countries[edit source | edit]

Cook Islands[edit source | edit]

As of 28 March, the Cook Islands have not had any cases. As a precautionary measure, flights from destinations other than New Zealand have been cancelled,[62] and non-essential surgeries cancelled.[63][64] On 26 March, Prime Minister Henry Puna announced that 'Code Yellow' measures would be in place in the islands, by which public gatherings are restricted.[65]

Niue[edit source | edit]

As of 3 April 2020, there have been no cases in Niue. As a precautionary measure, the government has banned visitors from highly affected countries.[64]

Tokelau[edit source | edit]

As of 3 April 2020, there have been no cases in Tokelau. As a precautionary measure, boats arriving from affected countries have been banned from landing.[64] On 19 March, all incoming travel was suspended, except for Tokelauans.[66]

Palau[edit source | edit]

The President of Palau Thomas Remengesau Jr. issued an executive order suspending all charter flights from China, Macau, and Hong Kong from 1–29 February.[67] Schools will be also be shut starting in April.[64] Remengesau suspended travel to Palau.[68]

The order also quarantined all non-citizens who recently entered the country for fourteen days.[69]

Samoa[edit source | edit]

Travel into Samoa has been increasingly restricted in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into the country. Before entering the country, people must have spent at least 14 days in a country free of the virus, as well as complete a medical clearance.[70] Two Samoan nationals who had briefly stopped in China were placed into quarantine on 28 January for two weeks at the Faleolo District Hospital.[needs update][71][72] Three students and a former student were evacuated[when?] with assistance from New Zealand.[73] On 9 February, eight Samoan nationals travelling from India were denied entry into the country after catching a connecting flight in Singapore.[74]

On 22 February, Samoa banned all cruise ships from visiting the country.[75] On 29 February, the government announced restrictions on air travel, with the frequency of international flights into Samoa being reduced from 2 March.[76]

On 18 March, Samoa reported its first suspected case of the coronavirus, an individual who had traveled from New Zealand. Bodily samples from the person were taken to Melbourne for testing.[77][78] In response, the Samoan Government required all travelers including Samoan citizens to undergo a medical checkup upon returning.[79] On 20 March, Samoa declared a state of emergency, closing its borders to all but returning citizens.[80]

On 21 March, the Samoan Health Ministry confirmed that eight suspected cases of the coronavirus were being tested. All of these individuals had a prior history of travel or contact with relatives who traveled abroad.[81][82] On 22 March, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi announced that the first suspected case of COVID-19 had been cleared of the virus. While he confirmed that six of the eight suspected cases had tested negative for the coronavirus, they were still awaiting test results for the remaining two patients from New Zealand.[83] That same day, Samoa also suspended air travel with Australia and restricted flights from New Zealand.[84]

On 24 March, it was reported that a total of seven suspected cases of the coronavirus were awaiting testing in New Zealand.[85]

On 25 March, Malielegaoi announced that individuals that did not adhere to the COVID-19 restriction will be fined.[86] On 26 March, the Samoan Government introduced lockdown measures including banning fishing boats from entering Samoa and fining businesses that breached the quarantine. Only cargo ships carrying goods and petrol will be allowed to enter Samoa.[87]

On 11 April, the Samoan Government passed a US$23.6 million relief package to help the country's hotel sector, which had been forced to lay-off 500 hotel workers by the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.[88] On 15 April, the Samoan Government eased some state of emergency restrictions including reopening inter-islander maritime travel and public transportation with restrictions on operating hours and passengers. Restaurants and markets were allowed to reopen with limited hours. However, social distancing rules and other emergency restrictions remained in force.[89]

On 20 April, Radio New Zealand reported that nearly 300 had been arrested in Samoa for violating the "Covid-19 State of Emergency Orders", which came into force on 21 March.[90] On 14 May, Malielegaoi ruled out the New Zealand Government's proposal for a "Pacific travel bubble" due to the unwillingness of Canberra and Wellington to test travelers and fears of a resurgence of the 2019 measles outbreak in Samoa.[91][92]

On 10 June, Prime Minister Malielegaoi announced the relaxation of lockdown restrictions on religious services, street vendors, weddings, and village matai councils. Street vendors will only be allowed to sell fruits, vegetables, cooked food and certain textiles while selling on footpaths will remain prohibited. Churches must practise two-meters social distancing but major events such as church conferences and national meetings remain prohibited. The new State of Emergency rules also allowed weddings in hotels but limited the guest list to 50 people. Market activities, beach and river excursions are banned on Sunday. There remains a five person limit on funerals, traditional title bestowals, birthdays, reunions, and opening ceremonies for building.[93]

Solomon Islands[edit source | edit]

As of 3 April, there have been no cases. As a precautionary measure the government has stepped up checks on incoming visitors, and introduced restrictions on visitors who have visited countries deemed high risk.[94] On 27 March Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare suspended all flights into the country, and declared a precautionary state of emergency in Honiara, by which most entertainment venues would be closed (churches are exempt from the order).[95]

On 31 March, Franco Rodie, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, ordered the closure of all schools in the Solomon Islands.[96]

Tonga[edit source | edit]

As of 22 May 2020, there have been no cases in the country. As a precautionary measure, various travel and quarantining restrictions have been put in place.[61] Cruise ships and yachts have also been banned from docking in the country.[97] On 27 March Prime Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa announced that the country would be under a lock-down 29 March – 5 April.[98]

Tuvalu[edit source | edit]

As of 3 April 2020, there have been no cases in the country. As a precautionary measure, visitors will not be allowed to land without first undergoing 14 days of isolation in a third party state.[64] Circa 26 March the acting governor general declared a state of emergency.[99]

United Kingdom[edit source | edit]

Pitcairn Islands[edit source | edit]

As of 3 April, there have been no cases in the Pitcairn islands. As a precautionary measure, all passenger services to the islands have been suspended.[100]

United States[edit source | edit]

American Samoa[edit source | edit]

On 6 March, the American Samoan government introduced new entry restrictions including restricting flight numbers and requiring travelers from Hawaii to spend 14 days in Hawaii and obtain a health clearance from health authorities.[101] On 11 March, a government task-force was set up to deal with the virus and quarantining measures have been put in place for incoming visitors.[102] On 14 March, half of the 210 passengers on a returning Hawaiian Airlines flight were required to self-quarantine at home.[103] Following a trip to the US mainland, Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga self-isolated as a precautionary measure on 16 March.[104]

On 26 March, Iulogologo Joseph Pereira, executive assistant to the American Samoa Governor and the head of the territory's coronavirus task force, acknowledged that the territory did not have facilities to test samples of the COVID-19 virus, having to rely on testing facilities in Atlanta, Georgia.[105]

On 19 April, United States President Donald Trump declared that a major disaster existed in American Samoa, responding to a request for help from Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga on 13 April. This declaration makes the territory eligible for federal assistance to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency has named its Regional 9 administrator Robert Fenton Junior as the Coordinating Officer for any federal recovery operations in American Samoa.[106]

As of 6 May, the US territory has not had any cases.[107]

Vanuatu[edit source | edit]

As of 3 April 2020, there have been no cases in the country. Travel restrictions and quarantine measures have been put in place for those entering the country.[94] On 22 March, Vanuatu's health authorities confirmed that tests for a resort worker with a suspected case of coronavirus had returned negative.[108] On 26 March President Tallis Obed Moses declared a state of emergency in the country.[109] A tourist on a cruise ship visiting the island of Aneityum had tested positive for the virus, prompting a lockdown on the island.[109]

On 25 April, Vanuatu announced that it would be scheduling their Women's Super League cricket final on Saturday and streaming it live on social media.[110]

Statistics[edit source | edit]

Total confirmed cases[edit source | edit]

Total confirmed (and probable) cases by country[edit source | edit]

Daily cases for the most infected Oceania countries:

See also[edit source | edit]

Template:End div col

References[edit source | edit]

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