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Delta Variant confirmed in Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands Minister of Health and Medical services Dr Culwick Togamana has confirmed that the COVID-19 variant spreading in the country is the Delta variant. The health minister confirmed the variant during his daily situation update Tuesday. He said the Delta variant has shown to be deadly in other countries, and says it is important that those with underlying health issues...

COVID-19 may create a flood of criminal deportees to the Pacific

Closed borders have created a backlog of criminal deportations to Pacific Islands states, and more effective transition programs are needed to reduce the risk of recidivism among returnees, Henrietta McNeill and Magele Vernon Mackenzie write. Criminal deportations to the Pacific have risen significantly in the last decade. These deportees, who are mostly male, are being sent back to their...

MGOC to seek grants to help Tokelau send athletes

The Northern Marianas Mini Games Organising Committee is looking to help Tokelau send its athletes to this year’s Mini Games by tapping Pacific Games Council grants. “Tokelau is a small, very tiny community and they’ve only sent a handful of athletes in previous Games. We’re trying to facilitate through the Pacific Games Council CEO Andrew Minogue if we can have...

WHO says it’s probing alleged racism, abuse by top director in Western Pacific

The head of the World Health Organisation says an investigation is underway into alleged reports that the UN health agency's top official in the Western Pacific engaged in racist, unethical and abusive behaviour, following a report last week. At a meeting of the WHO's executive board over the weekend, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the agency was first made aware of...

Pacific: COVID-19 endangers fragile health systems

A record surge of COVID-19 is threatening to overwhelm hospitals and fragile health systems in Pacific countries as the virus is running rampant in several countries for the first time. Solomon Islands is experiencing its first-ever community outbreak, with more than 780 reported cases and its first five COVID-19 related deaths. Fiji is experiencing its third wave of COVID-19 infections,...

New date announced for Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting

Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, and Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, have announced the week of 20 June 2022 as the new date agreed with member countries for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). CHOGM was due to have been held in Kigali in June 2020 but has been postponed twice due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. CHOGM is...

Australia urged to spend more on Covax programme amid criticisms of ‘vaccine diplomacy’

Australia has distributed 18m doses of Covid-19 vaccine to neighbouring countries but is being urged to dedicate money and resources to Covax – the global vaccination mechanism – so that the world’s least-inoculated countries can access vaccines. Australia’s “vaccine diplomacy”, focusing on bilateral donations to the Pacific and south-east Asia has come at the expense of commitments to the global...

303 new COVID-19 cases and three more deaths in Solomon Islands

Total of 303 more people are reportedly tested positive for Covid-19 in Solomon Islands Monday. Minister of Health and Medical Services Dr Culwick Togamana release the new figures in his Covid-19 update saying, three additional Covid deaths are recorded, two at Kilufi hospital in Malaita and one at the Central Field Hospital in Honiara. “Based on our testing capacity, and reports...

Additional staff for 2023 Pacific Games arrive in Honiara

More staff from overseas have arrived in Honiara to support construction work on the 2023 Games facilities. The additional staff, presumably from China arrived via a charter flight. Confirming this, Chairman of the Solomon Islands National Hosting Authority and Secretary to the Prime Minister, Dr Jimmie Rodgers says all arrivals are staff to work on the Pacific Games project. “Due to the...

Tonga out of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 OFC preliminary competition following disaster

The devastating impacts of this month's natural disaster in Tonga has resulted in Tonga withdrawing from taking part in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ OFC preliminary competition. The large volcanic eruption and tsunami which struck on January 15 has caused widespread damage across much of Tonga and impacted over 80 percent of the population. Many in Tonga have had their...

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