Since the last update on November 15, 2023, there have been several noteworthy developments in the Pacific region regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is important to note that due to varying testing, vaccination, and reporting strategies, the data reported may not necessarily paint an accurate picture of the true situation in each country.
Tokelau, a small island territory, has seen a positive trend in COVID-19 cases. The last community case was detected on October 19th, and since then, no new cases have been reported. The continuous testing and screening of passengers returning from Apia (Samoa) have played a crucial role in keeping the situation under control.
Pohnpei, part of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), has witnessed a decline in diarrhoea cases. In the week ending on November 12th, a total of 21 cases were reported, which is below the alert threshold. This positive development has prompted authorities to remove the alert status.
Meanwhile, in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), the number of new cases of Influenza A and B has decreased. Week 45 saw a total of 47 cases, compared to an average of 57 cases in the previous three weeks. The CNMI continues to maintain a blue alert due to ongoing surveillance measures.
While these updates provide some reasons for optimism, it is essential to remain vigilant. French Polynesia, for example, has witnessed an increase in COVID-19 cases. In week 45, out of 94 samples tested, 30 new cases were confirmed, with a positivity rate of 32% and an incidence rate of 11 per 100,000 population. Efforts to identify the circulating sub-variants have revealed the presence of XBB.1.5, EG.5.1 (ERID), and JN.1.
As the situation continues to evolve, it is crucial for individuals and communities to stay informed and adhere to local health guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
1. Why does the data reported not reflect the true situation in each country?
The data reported may not reflect the true situation in each country due to the evolving nature of COVID-19 testing, vaccination, and reporting strategies across the Pacific region. These variations make it challenging to accurately compare and assess the situation.
2. What has been the recent COVID-19 trend in Tokelau?
Tokelau has witnessed a positive trend in COVID-19 cases, with no new cases reported since October 19th. Continuous testing and screening of passengers returning from Apia (Samoa) have played a crucial role in curbing the spread of the virus.
3. Why was the alert status removed in Pohnpei?
Pohnpei reported a decrease in diarrhoea cases below the alert threshold for the past four weeks, leading to the removal of the alert status.
4. How has Influenza A and B cases fared in CNMI?
The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) has witnessed a decrease in the number of new Influenza A and B cases. Week 45 reported 47 cases, which is lower than the average of the previous three weeks.
5. What is the COVID-19 situation in French Polynesia?
French Polynesia has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases, with 30 new confirmed cases reported in week 45. The presence of various sub-variants has also been identified in the population.