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Cook Islands

Cook Islands records first ever COVID case

Cook Islands is one of the last Pacific nations to record a positive case for Covid-19.

The case occurred after a passenger on a repatriation flight back from New Zealand returned what local authorities labelled a “weak positive” when tested on his arrival.

A previous test on November 30, three days before the flight, had cleared the passenger of the virus.
The case is of a 10-year-old child travelling with his mother and two siblings.

The mum has been fully vaccinated, but none of the three children are eligible to be jabbed.

All other 172 passengers on the same flight have returned negative tests.

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Cook Islands prime minister Mark Brown said the government will be offering vaccinations to all five to 11-year-olds once health experts give the “all clear to do so” before the country welcomes visitors back.

Already 96 per cent of Cook Islanders have been vaccinated, one of the highest rates in the world.
“We have been preparing ourselves for the time we re-open our borders,” he said.

“Our testing regimes have shown the value of that preparation by catching this case at the border.”

“I want to reiterate that for many months we have been planning for how we handle the border reopening and dealing with any potential coronavirus threats.”

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The paradise setting of the Cook Islands has recorded its first case of Covid-19. Picture: Pixabay

“I further reiterate the importance for all eligible members of our population to be vaccinated, to give us that added layer of protection against serious illness and possible death.”

The family have been contained in the country’s managed isolation and quarantine facility since their arrival into the Cook Islands.

Neither the positive case nor other members of this family have shown any symptoms of the virus.

They will all remain in the facility until there is no risk of the virus getting into the wider community.

Only Nauru and Tuvalu are officially two of the last four countries in the world to not be infected from the virus.

North Korea and Turkmenistan have reported no cases to the World Health Organisation, but their official statements have been treated with suspicion.

“The ability of this virus to cross borders can be seen worldwide, and that is why border workers wear personal protective.”

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