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New Caledonia's Covid-19 tally rises to 18
4:11 pm GMT+12, 02/04/2020, New Caledonia

New Caledonia has identified another person with Covid-19, bringing the total to 18.
 
No further details have been given.
 
There has been a slow increase in the number of confirmed infections in recent days which is being interpreted as an encouraging sign.
 
Restrictions on people's movements remain in place, forcing anyone outside their home to carry a written attestation.
 
The French High Commission has updated the required document and added another two criteria allowing an individual to be outside their home.
 
To contain the spread of the disease, the basic rule is still that a person should only have one one-hour outing of less than a kilometre from home a day.
 
Meanwhile, a French government decision to admit some medical staff from outside the European Union won't apply to French Polynesia.
 
The move was aimed at overcoming staff shortages by hiring personnel from Cuba.
 
The decree approved by the French prime minister Edouard Philippe would allow doctors, dentists, pharmacists and midwives from non-EU countries to work only in the French territories in the Americas.
 
It only applied to Guyana, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy and Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, which is off Canada.
 
The concession was made after politicians in several territories, including French Polynesia's Oscar Temaru, asked for physicians from Cuba to be admitted.
 
Cuban doctors have been deployed world-wide, with some of those sent to Pacific Island countries getting English language tuition in New Zealand.

SOURCE: RNZ PACIFIC/PACNEWS


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