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COVID-19 pandemic in Oceania

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

COVID-19 pandemic in Oceania
COVID-19 Outbreak Cases in Oceania.svg
Map of the COVID-19 pandemic in Oceania (as of 31 July 2021)
  10,000+ Confirmed cases
  1000–9999 Confirmed cases
  100–999 Confirmed cases
  10–99 Confirmed cases
  1–9 Confirmed cases
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationOceania
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
Index caseMelbourne, Australia
Arrival date25 January 2020
(1 year, 8 months and 3 weeks ago)
Confirmed cases 241,774 (as of 2 September 2021)
Recovered123,461 (as of 1 September 2021 (partially reported)
Deaths
 2,824 (as of 2 September 2021)
Territories
21

The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have reached Oceania on 25 January 2020 with the first confirmed case reported in Melbourne, Australia.[1] It has since spread elsewhere in the region,[2] although many small Pacific island nations have thus far avoided the outbreak by closing their international borders. Three Oceania sovereign states (Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu) and one dependency (Cook Islands) have yet to report a case. Australia and New Zealand were praised for their handling of the pandemic in comparison to other Western nations, with New Zealand and each state in Australia wiping out all community transmission of the virus several times even after re-introduction in the community.[3][4][5]

However, by August 2021, the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria had conceded defeat in their eradication efforts.[citation needed] In early October 2021, New Zealand also abandoned its elimination strategy.[6][7]

Statistics by country and territory

Summary table of confirmed cases in Oceania (as of 16 October 2021)
Country/Territory Cases Deaths Recoveries Ref
Australia 141,033 1,515 96,234 [8][9][10]
Hawaii 82,110 862 no data [11]
Fiji 51,701 661 48,221 [12][13][10]
French Polynesia 40,178 626 33,500 [14][10]
Papua New Guinea 24,041 266 19,840 [15][10][16]
Guam 16,846 222 13,526 [17][18][19]
New Caledonia 9,933 236 4,300 [20][10][21]
New Zealand 4,939 28 4,246 [22]
Wallis and Futuna 445 7 438 [23][10]
Bougainville 450 2 254 [24][25]
Northern Mariana Islands 282 3 no data [26][27]
Solomon Islands 20 0 20 [9][10]
Easter Island 12 0 5 [28][29]
Palau 8[a] 0 5 [30][31]
Marshall Islands 4 0 4 [9][10]
Vanuatu 4 1 3 [9][10]
American Samoa 3 0 0 [27]
Samoa 3 0 3 [9][10]
Micronesia 1[b] 0 1 [32][33]
Cook Islands 0[c] 0 0 [34][35]
Kiribati 0[d] 0 0 [36][37]
Total 348,693 4,146 211,987


Note: The statistical information in this table may vary from official reports and WHO data, and is known to inconsistently include historical and suspected cases which may have returned a positive diagnostic test result. In some cases, these positive test results were reported by the media and/or by the relevant health authorities as confirmed cases, but this is not necessarily indicative of active SARS-CoV-2 infection due to most COVID-19 tests analysing past presence of the virus through the detection of relevant antibodies or through the detection of one or more viral fragments which are slowly shed during or after a person's recovery. These viral fragments are not indicative of whether that person has a current presence of the virus and are not indicative of infectivity.[38]

Timeline by country and territory

Australia

Map of the outbreak in Australia
  5000+ confirmed cases
  500–4999 confirmed cases
  50–499 confirmed cases
  5–49 confirmed cases

On 25 January 2020, the first case of a SARS-CoV-2 infection was reported, that of a Chinese citizen who arrived from Guangzhou on 19 January. The patient received treatment in Melbourne.[1][39] On the same day, three other patients tested positive in Sydney after returning from Wuhan.[40][41][42]

On 1 March 2020, a 78-year-old man from Western Australia, who had been a passenger on the cruise ship Diamond Princess, became the first person to die from coronavirus in Australia. He died in a hospital in Perth.[43][44][45]

Australian borders were closed to all non-residents from 20 March 2020; all returning travellers are required to undergo two weeks' quarantine in hotels. From March onwards, many states and territories also closed their internal borders, with similar quarantine requirements for exempt travellers. A breach of quarantine in Melbourne hotels led to the state of Victoria experiencing a second wave and returning to strict lockdown measures from July through to October 2020.[citation needed]

As of 22 September 2021, Australia has reported 88,710 cases and 1,178 deaths. There are around 19,500 active cases in Australia.[46] No deaths from COVID-19 were recorded in Australia from 28 December 2020 until 13 April 2021, when an overseas returned traveller died at The Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane.[47] There were then none until 11 July, when NSW Health reported a COVID-19 death from the current NSW Delta outbreak. As of 22 September 2021 at least 206 people in NSW had died of COVID-19 since the beginning of this latest outbreak.[48] In late August 2021, Victoria also reported its first deaths since the end of the outbreak in June 2020 that saw the longest lockdown period in Australia at the time.[49][50][51]

Norfolk Island

As of 24 August 2021, the external territory Norfolk Island has not had any confirmed cases. In March 2020, as a precautionary measure, the Norfolk Island Regional Council imposed a 32-day travel ban and declared a state of emergency.[52] Administrator Eric Hutchinson stated that the measures were necessary due to the remote island's extremely limited health capacity.[52] Lockdown measures began to be lifted from 6 May 2020.[53]

Following outbreaks in the Australian Eastern States and Territories in mid-2021, Norfolk islands implemented further restrictions. Covid support packages are available for Norfolk Island businesses and residents.[54]

Norfolk Island has begun administering COVID-19 vaccinations and is expected to complete its initial vaccination rollout by October 2021. As of 2 August, over 60% of residents have received their first jab.[55] Due to the accelerated rollout of the Comirnaty (Pfizer) COVID-19 vaccine and low levels of vaccine hesitancy in Norfolk Island, the region's COVID-19 vaccination clinic is currently slated to be closed on 31 September.[56]

Chile

Easter Island

On 19 March 2020, the local government of Easter Island ordered a lockdown of the island and requested LATAM Airlines to evacuate all tourists on the island.[57] However, on 24 March, the first case of coronavirus was reported on the island.[58] By the start of April, 5 confirmed cases had been reported. All cases have recovered after some weeks and no new cases have been reported since.[28][29]

Fiji

Map of the outbreak in Fiji by region
  150+ confirmed cases
  101-150 confirmed cases
  51-100 confirmed cases
  11-50 confirmed cases
  1-10 confirmed cases

The first case of the disease in Fiji was reported on 19 March 2020, leading to the lockdowns of Fiji's two largest cities, Lautoka and Suva for over twenty days.

On 31 July 2020, Fiji recorded its first death from COVID-19, a 66-year-old man who was repatriated from India.[59]

After over 365 days of no new cases in the community, Fiji recorded a new community case on 19 April 2021 leading to the immediate lockdown of Nadi and a second lockdown for Lautoka. This lockdown lasted almost fifty days and ended on 5 June 2021 despite COVID-19 cases still growing in the community. A similar lockdown was also introduced in the Central Division which contained Suva, Lami and Nausori in a single large containment area. The lockdown for the Lami-Nausori containment remains in place as of date.

By 20 August 2021, Fiji had confirmed 43,096 cases of COVID-19 with 21,825 recoveries and 432 deaths (plus 247 other unrelated COVID-19 positive patients deaths).[60]

As of 24 August 2021, Fiji had reported 44,188 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 444 deaths to WHO; and as of 13 August 2021, a total of 690,888 vaccine doses having been administered.[61]

France

French Polynesia

On 11 March 2020, the first case in French Polynesia was confirmed. The first patient was Maina Sage, a member of the French National Assembly.[62] There were 39 confirmed cases on 4 April. A ban on sales of alcohol was extended until the crisis is over.[63]

By 11 November 2020, 11,316 cases and more than 4,842 recoveries had been reported in French Polynesia.[64]

As of 12 August 2021, a total of 137,967 vaccine doses have been administered.[65]

As of 24 August 2021, there have been 40,178 confirmed cases and 328 deaths.[66]

New Caledonia

As of 18 July 2020, there were 22 cases in New Caledonia.[67] President Thierry Santa went into self-isolation on 4 April after a member of his staff tested positive.[68] On 7 March 2021, the first nine locally transmitted cases were reported.[69]

Wallis and Futuna

Map of the outbreak in Wallis and Futuna by islands
  150+ confirmed cases
  100–150 confirmed cases
  50–100 confirmed cases
  1–50 confirmed cases

On 16 October 2020, the collectivity reported its first case.[70] On 23 October, a second test on the first case returned a negative result, making the collectivity again COVID-free.[71]

A local community outbreak began on 6 March 2021, and the number of cases has since risen to 302 by 20 March.[72][73] The first death was reported on 22 March.[74]

Kiribati

On 1 February 2020, the government of Kiribati put all visas from China on hold and required new arrivals to fill in a health form and travellers from countries with the coronavirus to go through a self-quarantine period.[75] Despite not having any cases, on 28 March President Taneti Maamau declared a state of emergency.[76]

On 10 September 2020, the government announced it will keep the borders closed until the end of the year to keep the country free of the virus.[77]

On 18 May 2021, a local seafarer on a ship quarantined in the port of Betio tested positive for the virus.[78]

As of 24 August 2021, there have been 0 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 0 deaths, reported to WHO. As of 29 July 2021, a total of 13,970 vaccine doses have been administered.[79]

Marshall Islands

On 24 January 2020, the Marshall Islands issued a travel advisory that requires any visitors to the country to have spent at least 14 days in a country free of the virus.[80] On 1 March, the ban was extended to China, Macau, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Italy, and Iran.[81]

As of 18 March, all incoming international travel had been temporarily suspended, as well as some intra-island flight services.[82]

The first two positive cases of COVID-19 were confirmed at the US Army Garrison on Kwajalein Atoll (USAG-KA) on 29 October. They were both placed in managed quarantine.[83]

On 29 December, the Marshall Islands became the first independent nation in the Pacific to begin its COVID-19 vaccinations.[84]

Micronesia

The Federated States of Micronesia reported its first suspected case in managed isolation on 8 January 2021.[85][86] The suspected case was later deemed to be non-infectious and a detection of historical viral fragments after the individual returned negative antibody and antigen tests later in the month.[87][88] As of 24 August 2021, the Federated States of Micronesia official COVID-19 case count reported to the WHO is zero; and as of 8 August 2021, a total of 56,736 vaccine doses have been administered.[89]

New Zealand

Map of COVID-19 cases in New Zealand by District health board (DHB), 5 October 2021
  1000+ confirmed cases
  500–999 confirmed cases
  250–499 confirmed cases
  100-249 confirmed cases
  1–99 confirmed cases

New Zealand reported its first case on 28 February 2020 from a citizen who had arrived from Iran on 26 February.[90] The second case was a citizen who had recently traveled to northern Italy.[91] The first local transmission of the virus happened on 4 March in Auckland.[92] On 29 March, New Zealand reported its first fatality, a woman in her 70s from the West Coast region.[93][94]

The New Zealand Government introduced a four-level alert system on 21 March to manage the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand. On 25 March, the country moved into Alert Level 4, placing the country in a nationwide lockdown and closing its borders. While mass gatherings were banned and schools and most businesses were closed, essential services such as supermarkets, petrol stations, and health services remained open.[95][96][97] Due to successful efforts to eliminate the pandemic within New Zealand's borders, the alert level system was progressively lowered to Level 3 on 27 April and Level 2 on 13 May, with lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures being eased at each stage.[98][99] On 9 June, New Zealand entered into Alert level 1, where remaining restrictions on economic activities and daily life were eliminated but the country's borders remained closed to most international travellers.[100]

On 4 May, the country marked the first day without the reports of any new case of COVID-19, a month after the country announced lockdown.[101] By 31 May, there was only one active case with a total of 1,504 (1,154 confirmed and 350 probable) cases, 1,481 recoveries, and 22 deaths.[102] By 8 June, that last active case had recovered.[103] Following 24 consecutive days of no new cases, two new cases resulting from overseas travel were reported on 16 June.[104]

On 11 August 2020, four cases were reported in Auckland, making the first reported community transmissions after 102 days.[105] In response to the Auckland August 2020 community outbreak, lockdown restrictions were reinstated nationwide.[106] Due to the reduction in community transmissions, lockdown restrictions in Auckland and the rest of New Zealand were progressively eliminated on 30 August,[107] 23 September,[108] and 7 October 2020.[109]

While most cases in New Zealand throughout 2021 have occurred at the border, community outbreaks have occurred periodically predominantly in the Auckland Region in February and August 2021, leading to the reinstatement of national lockdown restrictions on both occasions.[110][111]

New Zealand's national vaccination programme began on 20 February 2021.[112] As of August 2021, 3.33 vaccinations have been administered; with 2.17 million receiving their first dose and 1.16 million additionally receiving their second dose.[113]

In early October 2021, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed that New Zealand's elimination elimination strategy would be phased out in favour of a new model that takes into account the country's vaccination rates.[6][7]

Cook Islands

As of 25 August 2021, the Cook Islands has not detected any active confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2.[114][115]

On 5 June 2021, the first positive PCR test result in the Cook Islands was obtained which was reported in the media. However, it was determined to be a non-infectious historical known case of a person who had earlier completed quarantine in New Zealand and therefore not counted as an active confirmed case, however already been counted in New Zealand and recovered.[116][117][118]

By 2 August 2021, the Cook Islands reported to the WHO a total of 21,761 vaccine doses have been administered.[115] On 24 August 2021, the Te Marae Ora Ministry of Health reported it had completed its COVID-19 national vaccination programme, with 96.7 per cent of the eligible population, people aged 16-years or older, fully vaccinated. All doses were the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty. The Government is planning a further operation to vaccinate 12-15 year olds.[119]

Niue

As of 24 August 2021, there have been no confirmed cases in Niue and as of 1 August 2021, a total of 2,352 vaccine doses have been administered.[120] As a precautionary measure, the government has banned visitors from highly affected countries, and later all arrivals except for Niue residents and essential services people only.[121][122] From 24 March 2021, travellers from Niue can resume quarantine free travel into New Zealand.[123] Niue commenced their vaccination campaign the week beginning 31 May 2021.[124]

On 9 July 2021, Niue completed its initial vaccination rollout, which included everyone aged 16 years or older. 97% of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated using the Pfizer Comirnaty vaccine.[125] Since March 2021, Niue has a one-way travel bubble which allows Niueans to travel to New Zealand without quarantine.[126]

Tokelau

As of 24 August 2021, there have been no cases in Tokelau.[127] As a precautionary measure, boats arriving from affected countries have been banned from landing.[122] On 19 March, all incoming travel was suspended, except for Tokelauans.[128]

On 19 July 2021, the Royal New Zealand Navy warship HMNZS Wellington delivered 120 vials of the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to Tokelau's Nukunonu atoll, which is sufficient to vaccinate 720 people . Tokelau's population was 1,499 according to the 2016 Census.[129] As of 2 August, Tokelau had reported to the WHO that 998 vaccine doses had been administered.[127]

Palau

Palau began implementing border controls early on.[130] The President of Palau Thomas Remengesau Jr. issued an executive order suspending all charter flights from China, Macau, and Hong Kong from 1–29 February 2020.[131] By March, the country's borders were closed.[130]

The order also quarantined all non-citizens who recently entered the country for fourteen days.[132]

Palauans began receiving COVID-19 vaccines in 2021.[130] As a signatory of the Compact of Free Association with the United States, Palau has received vaccines from Operation Warp Speed.[130][133]

On 31 May 2021, the first case was confirmed.[134]

As of 24 August 2021, there have been 2 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 0 deaths, reported to WHO. As of 8 August 2021, a total of 26,796 vaccine doses have been administered.[135]

Papua New Guinea

On 20 March 2020, the first case in Papua New Guinea was confirmed.[136]

Swabs were taken and sent to the Medical Research Institute in Goroka for testing. Three announcements followed. First the Health Minister Jelta Wong declared a probable case, and Prime Minister James Marape followed up by declaring the result as negative.[137][138] Further tests were conducted and the prime minister confirmed the positive result for COVID-19.[139] Police Minister Bryan Kramer then stated on Facebook that the inconsistent results were due to faulty test equipment, and that requests had been made for further testing to be conducted in Melbourne.[140] As of 19 November 2020, Papua New Guinea had 602 cases, 585 recoveries and 7 deaths.[15]

As of 24 August 2021, there have been 17,947 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Papua New Guinea with 192 deaths, reported to WHO. As of 12 August 2021, a total of 102,074 vaccine doses have been administered.[141]

Bougainville

The Autonomous Region of Bougainville's confirmed its first case of the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday, 7 August 2020, in Arawa, Bougainville.[142]

Samoa

There were two potential COVID-19 cases in Samoa that after returning a positive PCR test result in November 2020.[143] However it is likely both cases were simply detection of viral fragments from non-contagious historical cases as neither case had symptoms and their close contacts tested negative.[144] A third positive PCR test was returned on 12 February 2021.[145] Of the three positive test results, Samoa has only official declared one confirmed case of COVID-19 to the WHO.[146]

Solomon Islands

The first case of COVID-19 in the Solomon Islands was confirmed on 3 October 2020 as a student who had been repatriated from the Philippines on the 28 September 2020.[147]

As of 24 August 2021, there have been 20 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 0 deaths, reported to WHO. The last confirmed case was reported on 5 April 2021 and all cases have recovered. As of 6 August 2021, a total of 56,621 vaccine doses have been administered.[148]

United States

While the epicenter of COVID-19 in the USA lies in the contiguous 48 states, cases and outbreaks have been reported in the country's Oceanic jurisdictions. The state of Hawaii has by far the most coronavirus cases in the region, followed up by the territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

American Samoa

On 9 November 2020, American Samoa reported its first three positive test results.[149] As all three suspected cases were aboard a container ship, did not enter the country and were not confirmed to be active cases, they were not reported to the WHO.[150]

As of 24 August 2021 in reporting to the WHO, there have been no confirmed COVID-19 cases and no deaths; and as of 8 August, 52,769 vaccines doses have been administered.[151]

Guam

By 28 August 2020, the US territory of Guam has had 1,287 confirmed cases of the virus, 488 recoveries, and ten deaths.[152]

As of 24 August 2021, there have been 9,138 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Guam with 145 deaths, reported to WHO. As of 8 August 2021, a total of 202,807 vaccine doses have been administered.[153]

Hawaii

Map of the outbreak in Hawaii by confirmed total infections per 100,000 people (click on map for date of update)
  10,000+
  3,000–10,000
  1,000–3,000
  300–1,000
  100–300
  30–100
  0–30
  No confirmed infected or no data

The first case was reported on 6 March 2020, and the first death was on 30 March.[154]

In response to the initial spike in coronavirus cases, Governor David Ige issued a state-wide lockdown, which lasted from 24 March to 30 April.[155] After another spike occurred a few months later, a second lockdown was issued from 27 August to 9 September.[156] It was then extended until 24 September.[157]

The center of the outbreak is on the island of Oahu, where most Hawaii residents live. Cases have also been reported on Hawaii Island, Maui, Molokai,[158] Lanai[159] and Kauai. No cases have been reported on Niʻihau, Kahoʻolawe and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

As of 24 August 2021, Hawaii had the lowest case rate of all 50 states at 4,042 per 100,000 people and the lowest death rate at 39.9 per 100,000 people.[160]

As of 24 August 2021, the US state of Hawaii had a cumulative total of 54,366 confirmed cases, 2,869 probable cases, 565 deaths and 3,220 hospitalizations.[161]

Northern Mariana Islands

As of 2 November 2020, the islands confirmed 96 coronavirus cases and two deaths.[27]

As of 24 August 2021 in reporting to the WHO, there have been 224 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2 deaths; and as of 5 August, 63,302 vaccines doses have been administered.[162]

Vanuatu

On 11 November 2020, Vanuatu recorded its first COVID case by a man who tested positive after returning from the United States via Auckland and Sydney.[163]

As of 24 August 2021 in reporting to the WHO, there have been 3 confirmed COVID-19 cases and zero deaths; and as of 15 August, 27,716 vaccines doses have been administered.[164]

Prevention in other countries and territories

Nauru

The government declared a national emergency as a preventive measure, suspending all but one weekly flight to the country and instituting a 14-day quarantine for all arrivals.[165]

As of 24 August 2021 in reporting to the WHO, there have been zero confirmed COVID-19 cases; and as of 15 July, 14,784 vaccines doses have been administered.[166]

Tonga

On 27 March 2020, Prime Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa announced that the country would be under a lock-down 29 March – 5 April.[167]

As a precautionary measure, various travel and quarantining restrictions have been put in place.[165] Cruise ships and yachts have also been banned from docking in the country.[168]

As of 24 August 2021 in reporting to the WHO, there have been zero confirmed COVID-19 cases; and as of 15 August, 51,816 vaccines doses have been administered.[169]

Tuvalu

Circa 26 March 2020, the acting governor general declared a state of emergency.[170] As a precautionary measure, visitors will not be allowed to land without first undergoing 14 days of isolation in an approved third-party state.[122]

As of 24 August 2021 in reporting to the WHO, there have been zero confirmed COVID-19 cases; and as of 15 August, 4,772 vaccines doses have been administered.[171]

United Kingdom

Pitcairn Islands

As a precautionary measure, all passenger services to the Pitcairn Islands have been suspended.[172] The territory's entire population was vaccinated in May 2021, with vaccines that arrived via ship from New Zealand.[173][174]

As of 24 August 2021 in reporting to the WHO, there have been no confirmed COVID-19 cases; and as of 21 July, 73 vaccines doses have been administered.[175]

International aid

In late July 2021, UNICEF and the government of Japan announced US$20.8 million partnership to support Pacific Island governments regarding their battle against COVID-19. Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga had previously announced financial aid to boost health sectors in Pacific island nations during the 9th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM9).[176]

Statistics

Total confirmed cases

Total confirmed (and probable) cases by country

Daily cases for the most infected Oceania countries:

See also

Notes

  1. ^ two non-infectious historical cases detected in May-June 2021, both cases were officially reported to the WHO
  2. ^ one suspected case was deemed to be a non-infectious historical case and tested negative after subsequent antibody and antigen tests
  3. ^ One non-infectious historic case has a positive PCR Test in June 2021 after returning to the Cook Islands following release from managed quarantine in New Zealand. The Cooks Islands official reported cases to the WHO is zero.
  4. ^ two seafarers returning from Papua New Guinea returned a positive PCR test result in May 2021, both individuals were quarantined on the vessel without entering Kiribati. It is unclear if these were active or historical cases, however neither case has been reported to the WHO, and officially Kiribati declares itself 'COVID-free'

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