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A distant island nation confronts its first confirmed coronavirus case.

The Cook dinner Islands, the South Pacific nation identified for its strict isolation coverage, was one of many final international locations with no reported coronavirus circumstances. On Saturday, Prime Minister Mark Brown announced {that a} visiting vacationer from New Zealand examined optimistic after coming back from the archipelago.

The traveler, who was absolutely vaccinated, spent eight days in Cook Islands and developed signs on the morning of February 7, earlier than departing from the Cooks’ largest and most populous island, Rarotonga, according to a government news launched on Saturday. This might counsel that there’s “silent transmission” of the virus within the Cook dinner Islands, the assertion stated, which means individuals could possibly be contaminated and unfold the virus with out realizing it.

The Cook dinner Islands, with a inhabitants of about 17,000, are a self-governing chain of 15 islands in free affiliation with New Zealand.

Mr. Brown stated the individual most definitely contracted the virus in Rarotonga. The federal government shared the identify of a restaurant and a nightclub visited by the contaminated individual and requested residents who had been to these locations on the identical time and had signs of a rash to come back get examined.

Late on Saturday, the Ministry of Well being of this nation stated in a news bulletin that 31 individuals possible in shut contact with the contaminated traveler had PCR checks carried out and all have been detrimental.

Discover as much as a month after the country reopened its air border for vaccinated vacationers, permitting quarantine-free two-way journey from New Zealand. Beforehand, the Cook dinner Islands had maintained a strict journey coverage, shutting itself off from the world in early 2020 over fears {that a} Covid-19 outbreak would overpower its healthcare system. It is just open to vacationers from New Zealand for a short while in 2021.

This technique was additionally supported by the governments of Pacific island nations together with Kiribati, Tonga, Palau, the Solomon Islands and Samoa throughout the first two years of the pandemic. Geographic isolation, strict journey restrictions, and excessive vaccination charges permit them to maintain the transmission of the virus low and even just about freed from the coronavirus.

Now, a few of these international locations have begun to steadily confide in vacationers and persisting in caseloads pushed by the excessive transmittance Omicron variant. In Tonga, the federal government announced a nationwide shutdown in early February amid a rising outbreak that started amongst assist staff serving to the nation get better from the volcanic eruption and tsunami.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/13/world/cook-islands-covid.html A distant island nation confronts its first confirmed coronavirus case.

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