COVID-19 News Updates 27.11.2020


Country CasesConfirmed Deaths
French Polynesia 13883 (4842 recovered) 72
Papua New Guinea 645 (588 recovered) 7
New Caledonia 30 (30 recovered) 0
Fiji 38 (33 recovered) 2
Solomon Islands 17 (5 recovered) 0
Vanuatu 1 (0 recovered) 0
Marshall Islands 4 (1 recovered) 0
Tonga 0 0
Samoa 0 0
Niue 0 0
Kiribati 0 0
FSM 0 0
Palau 0 0
Tuvalu 0 0
Cook Islands 0 0
Nauru 0 0

: The above data is sourced from the official website of the Western Pacific Region of the World Health Organization. It may update untimely or inconsistency with the relevant data in the article sourced from local news.




COVID-19 tests still show negative, positive result: Samoa PM Tuilaepa


According to news released by Samoa Observer on 24 November, Samoan Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi says the test results from the suspected COVID-19 swabs taken from a sailor last Thursday have come back with the same results showing both negative and positive results. 

Speaking at a press conference Tuesday, Tuilaepa said the same results where the sailor tested both positive and negative came back, therefore blood samples will now have to be sent to New Zealand for further analysis. 

“The sailor on his left nostril tested positive and on his right one tested negative.” he said. 

“We will send blood samples for testing in New Zealand and results will be attained by next week Monday.”

The Prime Minister was accompanied at the press conference by the Ministry of Health [MOH] Director General, Leausa Dr Take Naseri and the National Emergency Operations Centre [NEOC] Interim Chairman Agafili Shem Leo.

The Prime Minister emphasised that the test results from New Zealand were the same as that done by the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa [SROS] last week.

Rumours that the Government “is hiding the results” were also quashed by Tuilaepa, who added that the Cabinet will also decide the fate of the November 28 repatriation flight from America.

“Cabinet will decide the fate for the repatriation flight from America on the 28th of November tomorrow whether to postpone or to continue."”

Leausa Dr Take Naseri told the media that all the test kits used are from the World Health Organisation. 

When asked why they did not send blood tests before with nasal swabs, Leausa said it is to limit the spread of the virus.

The sailor who both tested positive and negative last week has been quarantined with his roommate at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole National Hospital at Moto’otua since last week



Second man tests positive for COVID-19 in Samoa


According to news released by Samoa Observer on 27 November, a 70-year-old man is Samoa's second suspected case of COVID-19, the Director-General of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri confirmed on Friday morning.

The father was on the same repatriation flight as the country's first suspected case and person to have returned a positive test, a returning sailor who has subsequently tested both positive and negative for COVID-19. 

An additional seven days will be added to the 14-day quarantine requirement for all 274 passengers from that Apia-Auckland flight.

The news was announced at a press conference attended by the Minister of Health, Faimalotoa Kika Stowers and National Emergency Operation Centre, Interim Chairman, Agafili Shem Leo.

Leausa said the elderly man - and his wife, who tested negative - would be isolated at the Motootua hospital.

He said the 70-year-old father who came to Apia via Melbourne, Australia first tested negative for the virus upon arrival. However, a follow-up test confirmed he has tested positive. "He has not shown any symptoms of COVID," he said.

Samoa Observer


State of Public Emergency extended in Solomon Islands


According to news released by SOLOMON STAR on 25 November, Solomon Islands is now under a third State of Public Emergency (SOPE) that will run for the next four months.

This followed a declaration by Governor-General,Sir David Vunagi on 24 November to further extend the SOPE.

The extension was declared after the expiry of the country’s second SOPE - 24 November, a statement from the Government Communication Unit confirmed.

“The extension has been made upon recommendation from the Prime Minister following a Cabinet endorsement last week.”

One of the key reasons for the extension is to protect the country from any community spread of covid-19 by containing the virus in quarantine centers, the statement said.

“Currently the Government is caring for our repatriated citizens and residents in quarantine stations and they cannot remain there without a state of public emergency. 

“Government cannot also carry out testing on perfectly healthy persons without their consent, but under a State of Public Emergency, testing can be done,” the statement said.

Furthermore, Cabinet had approved the deferment of the Public Health Emergency Bill, which should replace the SOPE due to resource constraints. 

In exercise of the powers conferred by section 16(2) of the Constitution, the Governor-General by a Proclamation has declared last night that a state of public emergency exists in Solomon Islands on and from 24 November 2020 on the grounds that: 

The World Health Organisation has declared that the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (“COVID-19”) is a public health emergency of international concern and is a pandemic.

COVID-19 can easily transmit from person to person and is capable of causing a severe respiratory illness, which may lead to death.

The proclamation further states that it is necessary to take measures to ensure that COVID-19 is not transmitted from person to person within Solomon Islands (including by controlling the entry of persons into Solomon Islands and requiring the quarantining and testing of persons).

It also added that it is necessary to preserve public health, safety, order, and security during the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first SOPE was declared on 25 March 2020. This declaration was further extended by Parliament by way of a resolution for a period of 4 months, which ceased on 24 July and the Governor-General issued another proclamation on the same by entering Solomon Island into its second SOPE period.

Solomon Islands recorded its first covid-19 positive case on 3 October 2020 and since then the SOPE has enabled the Government to act decisively and swiftly. It has also assisted in the preparedness and response planning by the government authorities.

The extension of the SOPE will end on 24 March 2021.


Relevant News:

State of Public Emergency Extended


Fiji reports three new border quarantine cases of COVID-19


According to news released by FBC NEWS on 25 November, the Ministry of Health of Fiji has announced three new border quarantine cases of COVID-19.

Two cases are Fijian citizens in their 40s who worked in a mining company in Mali.

They started their journey home on the 16th of November and boarded a repatriation flight from New Zealand on the 19th. They both displayed minor symptoms on arrival which have now been resolved.

The third case is a 51-year-old male non-Fiji citizen who arrived in Nadi on the 19th of November, on the same New Zealand flight.

His port of origin was Germany. He has a work permit in Fiji and was returning with family to complete his contract. The man is asymptomatic now and isolated from his family.

The Health Ministry says as with all cases, these latest ones been under strict border quarantine conditions since arrival into Nadi.

The 3 individual positive entry tests, was conducted on day 2 of quarantine as part of the standard border process.

Fiji has now had 38 COVID-19 cases overall, and these new patients represent four (4) active cases.

The patients are in stable condition and have been transferred to the isolation ward at the Lautoka hospital. Frontline border and quarantine staff who were directly involved with these patients will all be monitored and tested as per COVID-19 protocols.

The Ministry and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces in preparation for an increase in repatriation activity at the border are now strengthening health quarantine teams with the training and deployment of officials and increased supply of protective equipment.

Resources: FBC NEWS

Relevant News:

COVID-19 measures are working: Dr Fong

Three active COVID-19 cases, patient number 35 discharged


PNG’s COVID-19 cases rise to 645 as news infections reported in WNB AND NCD


Papua New Guinea has recorded 15 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the last 24 hours.

Twelve cases were from Talasea District in West New Britain while three cases were from the National Capital District (NCD).

Controller of the National Pandemic Response, David Manning, said the country’s total number of COVID-19 cases, as a result, had risen to 645, including seven known COVID-19 deaths.

Sixteen provinces (including the Autonomous Region of Bougainville) have confirmed COVID-19 cases: NCD(356); Western Province(204); West New Britain(42); Eastern Highlands(13); Central(7); Morobe(6); East Sepik(3); Enga(3); East New Britain(2); Milne Bay(2); New Ireland(2); Southern Highlands(1); West Sepik(1); Western Highlands(1); Autonomous Bougainville Region(1); Hela Province(1).

PNG Government

Relevant News:

Passengers to pay all quarantine expenses under new travel measures

18 new COVID-19 cases reported: PNG’s total reaches 630

PNG’s COVID-19 cases increase to 612: new cases reported in NCD and WNB

Four new COVID-19 cases reported: PNG total cases at 609

NCD Reports new COVID-19 case, bringing PNG’s total to 605


COVID-19 training programs highlighted in report


Several priority events and training workshops for health workers, doctors stakeholders and donor partners have been scheduled for November 2020, according to the latest   Papua New Guinea Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Health Situation Report (11- 22 November).

Meantime, the COVID-19 Summit has been rescheduled for 25 January to 5 February 2021 at the APEC Haus, Port Moresby.

A World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Training on Vaccine and Immunization Safety in the Western Pacific was organized from 16 – 19 November for medical and technical officers from the National Department of Health. The training was part of safety preparedness in the event that the COVID-19 vaccines are deployed to the region.

Another important training, supported by the Department of Health, PNG Society of Anesthetists, UNICEF and WHO, was held from 17 – 19 November 2020, for health care workers on ventilator use. It was reported a total of 21 doctors and nurses from East Sepik, East New Britain, Milne Bay, Chimbu, and New Ireland Provinces successfully participated in the training.

The report further highlighted that a Workshop on Strengthening COVID-19 Diagnostic Response in the country was held in Port Moresby from 19 – 20 November. Representatives from the Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL), PNG Institute for Medical Research (PNGIMR), Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH), National Department of Health (NDOH) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) took part in this training.

PNG Government

Relevant News:

Training conducted on use of ventilators for hospital staff

Pulse oximeters to be distributed to health facilities