Kiribati Minister for Tourism, Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives (MTCIC) says there have been delays in shipment of basic food supplies to the outer islands due the current Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown on South Tarawa and Betio.

Booti Nauan made the comments in response to concerns about cargo shortages in a number of outer islands.

Nauan said the private sector is always to ready to assist in this area and said a number of vessels have left Tarawa and some will be leaving soon to deliver cargoes in the outer islands.

The minister encouraged businesses in the outer islands to send their orders immediately to his ministry so they can liaise with wholesalers and make shipping arrangements with local shipping companies.

Meanwhile, Banaba has confirmed the arrival of food supplies from Tarawa earlier this week.

A Community Worker on the island Banian Burenimoone told Radio Kiribati News the food supplies are still not enough to meet the increasing demand from the public.

Burenimoone said rice is being rationed at 2.5 kilogrammes a day per person

The island Mayor said Council workers will continue to be relieved from work to maintain their livelihoods.