2020 coronavirus pandemic in Oceania

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2020 coronavirus pandemic in Oceania
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationOceania
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
Index caseMelbourne, Victoria, Australia
Arrival date25 January 2020
(2 months and 3 days ago)
Confirmed cases3,931[1]
Recovered220[1]
Deaths
14[1]
Territories
7[1]

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have reached Oceania in January 2020.

Pandemic by country[edit]

Map of the outbreak in Australia

Australia[edit]

On 1 March, it was reported that a 78-year-old man from Western Australia, who was a passenger on the Diamond Princess, had become the first person to die from coronavirus in Australia.[2][3]

As of 26 March, the death toll in Australia stands at 13 with approximately 2,800 cases reported.

Chile[edit]

Easter Island[edit]

On 19 March, the local government of Easter Island (Rapa Nui) ordered a lockdown of the island and requested LATAM Airlines to evacuate all tourists on the island.[4] However, on 24 March, it was reported the first case of coronavirus on the island.[5]

Fiji[edit]

As of 25 March 2020, there are 5 confirmed cases in Fiji.[6]

France[edit]

French Polynesia[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.[7]

New Caledonia[edit]

As of 25 March, there have been fourteen cases in New Caledonia.[8]

New Zealand[edit]

As of 28 March, New Zealand has reported 451 confirmed and probably cases cases.[9] The first case, confirmed on 26 February, was in a citizen who had arrived from Iran.[10] The second case was in a citizen who had recently traveled to northern Italy.[11] The first local transmission of the virus happened on 4 March, located in Auckland.[12]

Papua New Guinea[edit]

On 20 March, the first case in Papua New Guinea was confirmed.[13]

United States[edit]

Guam[edit]

As of 18 March, the US territory of Guam has had two confirmed cases of the virus, with several further potential cases under investigation.[14]

Hawaii[edit]

As of 19 March, there have been 22 confirmed cases in the state of Hawaii.[15]

Prevention in other countries and territories[edit]

Australia[edit]

Norfolk Island[edit]

As of 20 March 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.[16] Administrator Eric Hutchinson stated that the measures were necessary due to the remote island's extremely limited health capacity.[16]

France[edit]

Wallis and Futuna[edit]

On 4 March, Wallis and Futuna, a French territory, 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.[17]

Kiribati[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.[18]

Marshall Islands[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.[19]

On 1 March, the ban was extended to China, Macau, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Italy and Iran.[20]

As of 18 March, all incoming international travel has been temporarily banned, as well as some intra-island flight services.[14]

Micronesia[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.[21]

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.[22] As of 18 March, all schools in the country have also been closed.[14]

Nauru[edit]

As of 27 March, 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.[23]

New Zealand[edit]

Cook Islands[edit]

As of 20 March, the Cook Islands have not had any cases. As a precautionary measure, all most international and many inter-island flights have been cancelled, and non-essential surgeries cancelled.[24][25][26]

Niue[edit]

As of 20 March 2020, there have been no cases in Niue. As a precautionary measure the government has banned visitors from highly affected countries.[26]

Tokelau[edit]

As of 20 March 2020, there have been no cases in Tokelau. As a precautionary measure boats arriving from affected countries have been banned from landing.[26]

Palau[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.[27] School will be also be shut starting in April.[26]

Samoa[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.[28] 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][29][30] Three students and a former student were evacuated[when?] with assistance from New Zealand.[31] On 9 February, eight Samoan nationals travelling from India were denied entry into the country after catching a connecting flight in Singapore.[32]

On 22 February, Samoa banned all cruise ships from visiting the country.[33] On 29 February, the government announced restrictions on air travel, with the frequency of international flights into Samoa being reduced from 2 March.[34]

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.[35][36] In response, the Samoan Government required all travelers including Samoan citizens to undergo a medical checkup upon returning.[37] On 20 March, Samoa declared a state of emergency, closing its borders to all but returning citizens.[38]

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.[39][40] 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.[41] That same day, Samoa also suspended air travel with Australia and restricted flights from New Zealand.[42]

On 24 March, it was reported that a total of seven suspected cases of the coronavirus were awaiting testing in New Zealand.[43]

On March 25, Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi announced that individuals that didn't adhere to the COVID-19 restriction will be fined.[44] 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.[45]

Solomon Islands[edit]

As of 17 March, 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.[46]

Tonga[edit]

As of 18 March 2020, there have been no cases in the country. As a precautionary measure, various travel and quarantining restrictions have been put in place.[23] Cruise ships and yachts have also been banned from docking in the country.[47]

Tuvalu[edit]

As of 20 March 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.[26] The acting governor general declared a state of emergency.[48]

United Kingdom[edit]

Pitcairn Islands[edit]

As of 20 March, there have been no cases in the British territory. As a precautionary measure, all passenger services to the islands have been suspended.[49]

United States[edit]

American Samoa[edit]

As of 24 March, the US territory has not had any cases. 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.[50] 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.[51] On 14 March, half of the 210 passengers on a returning Hawaiian Airlines flight were required to self-quarantine at home.[52] Following a trip to the US mainland, Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga self-isolated as a precautionary measure on 16 March.[53]

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 a laboratory in Arizona.[54]

Northern Mariana Islands[edit]

Before March 12, task force exists.[55]

As of 17 March, there have been no cases in the US territory. As a precautionary measure, governor Ralph Torres has shut schools and government offices.[56]

Vanuatu[edit]

As of 24 March 2020, there have been no cases in the country. Travel restrictions and quarantine measures have been put in place for those entering the country.[46] On 22 March, Vanuatu's health authorities confirmed that tests for a resort worker with a suspected case of coronavirus had returned negative.[57]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]