Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pacific Community (SPC) Public Health Division is closely monitoring the global and regional situation through its epidemic intelligence system and produces regular epidemiological reports on COVID-19 cases reported in the Pacific.
Current Status in the Pacific:
As of 20 October 2020, 8 countries (Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Wallis and Futuna) in the PICTs have reported 9,096 cases and 93 deaths.
- Between 13 October and 20 October 2020, 1,972 new cases (1 in Wallis and Futuna; 1 in Solomon Islands; 9 in CNMI; 1,359 in French Polynesia; 586 in Guam and 16 in PNG) and 11 new deaths (5 in French Polynesia and 6 in Guam) were confirmed in the PICTs.
- Wallis and Futuna has reported the first postive COVID-19 case.
- Fiji has not reported any new cases for at least two incubation period (28 days).
- New Caledonia has not reported any new cases for at least one incubation period (14 days).
- Wallis and Futuna, Solomon Islands, French Polynesia, Papua New Guinea, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas and Guam have reported new cases in the past 14 days.
- Australia: Since mid-August 2020, the number of newly reported cases has begun to decrease.
- New Zealand: There are currently 33 active cases (1-community case).
- Hawaii: Cases are decreasing, community transmission is ongoing.
For further information on specific countries in the Pacific contact the respective government authorities.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has a dedicated COVID-19 page on the Pacific Other COVID-19 news and updates
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides a global overview of COVID-19
- The Guardian is providing a weekly news summary of COVID-19 related news in the Pacific
COVID-19 represents a significant challenge for the region. The Pacific Community (SPC), as the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP) lead in public health, has taken all necessary measures to help address the spread of COVID-19. This includes the adoption of a response framework aimed at supporting staff well-being and business continuity while supporting an efficient regional response to the pandemic.
Which are the main risk areas for PICTs?
- In most of the PICTs, access to quality health services is limited, due to a lack of infrastructure, equipment, and qualified personnel. In the current situation, this can pose a problem of access to care if the number of infected people increases.
- Most PICTs do not have the needed laboratory equipment to analyse the tests on site, which creates difficulties in identifying cases. The test samples have to be sent to other countries for analysis.
- Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) are frequented by tourists. This represents a risk due to the movement of people to and from PICTs (although restrictive measures have been put in place); and also a risk for the local economies.
Our Public Health Division is supporting Pacific Island countries and territories preparedness and response to COVID-19 through public health surveillance, laboratory, infection prevention and control, risk communication and clinical services.
To access more specific information for COVID-19, please click below:
Pacific Community Response