COVID-19 pandemic in Vanuatu

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COVID-19 pandemic in Vanuatu
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
First outbreakWuhan, China
Index casePort Vila
Arrival date11 November 2020[1]
(11 months and 6 days ago)
Confirmed cases3[1][2]
Active cases0
Suspected cases1[a][3]
Government website
Suspected cases have not been confirmed by laboratory tests as being due to this strain, although some other strains may have been ruled out.

The COVID-19 pandemic in Vanuatu is part of the ongoing worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was confirmed to have reached Vanuatu on 11 November 2020.[1]


On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019.[5][6]

The case fatality ratio for COVID-19 has been much lower than SARS of 2003,[7][8] but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll.[9][7]


March 2020

On 16 March 2020, travel restrictions and quarantine measures were put in place for those entering Vanuatu.[10] On 22 March, Vanuatu's health authorities confirmed that tests for a resort worker with a suspected case of coronavirus had returned negative.[11] On 26 March President Tallis Obed Moses declared a state of emergency in the country.[12] A tourist on a cruise ship visiting the island of Aneityum had tested positive for the virus, prompting a lockdown on the island. Blood samples from locals on the island were also sent to New Caledonia for testing.[12]

November 2020

On 11 November, Vanuatu confirmed its first asymptomatic case, belonging to a man who had traveled to the islands from the United States via Sydney and Auckland. The man had arrived in Vanuatu on 4 November and underwent managed isolation and quarantine with no symptoms. He tested positive on 10 November.[1]

December 2020

On 2 December, Vanuatu confirmed that the man who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in November has since tested negative.[13]

March 2021

  • On 6 March 2021, Prime Minister Bob Loughman announced two new cases.[14]
  • As of 23 March 2021, there were 3 total cases in Vanuatu, with 2 active cases and 1 recovery.[15]

April 2021

  • As of 1 April 2021, there were 3 total cases in Vanuatu, with 2 active cases and 1 recovery.[15]
  • On 19 April 2021, Prime minister Bob Loughman confirmed a new positive case; the body of a Filipino sailor who had been working aboard a British-flagged tanker had washed up on the shores of Port Vila, with the sailor testing positive for COVID-19 post-mortem.[16]

May 2021

October 2021

  • As of 10 October 2021, there has been a total of 4 COVID-19 cases in Vanuatu, with no active cases, 3 recoveries, and 1 fatality.[15] No new cases had been reported over the previous four months.


New cases per day

Deaths per day


On 2 June 2021, Vanuatu launched its COVID-19 vaccine roll-out campaign. On 27 July 2021, 20,000 AstraZeneca vaccines were received in Vanuatu through a bilateral arrangement between the governments of the Republic of Vanuatu and Australia, a further 24,000 AstraZeneca doses have been provided by COVAX, and 20,000 Sinopharm vaccine doses received from the Chinese Government.[18]

The total number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered between 2 June 2021 and 8 August 2021 was 31,028. These have been prioritised to health workers, front line workers (e.g. border workers, quarantine facility staff, public transport drivers), the elderly (55 and over), and 4,314 people aged 35 years and over with known underlying medical conditions. Those who have received both of the two recommended doses of either Sinopharm or AstraZeneca vaccines are considered fully vaccinated. As of 8 August, 1,721 people in Vanuatu are considered fully vaccinated (0.6% of the population).[18]

See also


  1. ^ A deceased Filipino fisherman washed ashore tested positive to SARS-COV-2. This case was not officially reported as the person was already deceased.


  1. ^ a b c d "Vanuatu has its first Covid-19 case". Radio New Zealand. 11 November 2020. Archived from the original on 11 November 2020. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  2. ^ "Vanuatu: WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard With Vaccination Data". Retrieved 25 August 2021.
  3. ^ Hollingsworth, Julia (19 April 2021). "A body with Covid washed ashore. Now this Pacific island nation isn't taking any chances". CNN. Retrieved 25 August 2021.
  4. ^ "Vanuatu's main island halts outward travel after Covid discovery". RNZ. 18 April 2021. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
  5. ^ Elsevier. "Novel Coronavirus Information Center". Elsevier Connect. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  6. ^ Reynolds, Matt (4 March 2020). "What is coronavirus and how close is it to becoming a pandemic?". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Crunching the numbers for coronavirus". Imperial News. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  8. ^ "High consequence infectious diseases (HCID); Guidance and information about high consequence infectious diseases and their management in England". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  9. ^ "World Federation Of Societies of Anaesthesiologists – Coronavirus". Archived from the original on 12 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Pacific nations take further measures against coronavirus". Radio New Zealand. 16 March 2020. Archived from the original on 28 October 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Covid-19 tests in Samoa, Vanuatu come back negative". Radio New Zealand. 22 March 2020. Archived from the original on 24 March 2020. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  12. ^ a b "Vanuatu declares State of Emergency over Covid-19". Radio New Zealand. 26 March 2020. Archived from the original on 1 August 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  13. ^ "Vanuatu PM declares Covid contained". RNZ. 2 December 2020. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  14. ^ "Vanuatu has two more Covid-19 cases in quarantine". RNZ. 6 March 2021. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  15. ^ a b c d "Reported Cases and Deaths by Country, Territory, or Conveyance". Worldometer. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  16. ^ "Vanuatu's main island halts outward travel after Covid discovery". RNZ. 18 April 2021. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
  17. ^ "Vanuatu receives 24,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility". Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  18. ^ a b "Vanuatu Situation Report #47 – 10 August 2021" (PDF). Ministry of Health. 10 August 2021. Retrieved 25 August 2021.