Secretary to Cabinet and Chairman of the National Emergency Operation Center Agafili Tomaimano Shem Leo said the “day dreaded by authorities for Covid-19 to invade Samoa is here.”

Lockdowns in Pacific States Facing First Serious COVID Waves

Kiribati, Samoa, and the Solomon Islands have entered lockdowns after overseas arrivals brought COVID-19 to the Pacific Island nations, which had largely managed to keep the virus out since the pandemic began.
There should be no visitors allowed during the time that the patient is ill.

COVID-19: Staying Safe at Home

If you are caring for yourself or a loved one at home, how can you keep everyone safe? Who should be cared for at home? How to prevent COVID-19 infection to other family members? What red flags should you look for that tell you it is time to contact the health care provider?
Seasonal workers stranded in Australia at a Church service.

Less Worker Exploitation Under the Seasonal Worker Programme

When the pandemic hit, Pacific Island countries closed their borders to workers hired through the federal government’s Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP), preventing them from returning home.
WHO epidemiologist Dr Abdi Mahamud, told journalists that there was still not enough data available to say whether the Omicron variant is less severe than other coronavirus strains.

70% Vaccination Coverage Needed to Fight Omicron: WHO

As the Omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to surge across the world, the UN health agency on Tuesday said that it was crucial that more is done to help all countries receive lifesaving coronavirus jabs as quickly as possible.
In Fiji, the incumbent Fiji First government will be looking to secure a third successive win. If successful, that will mean Bainimarama will be looking at having led the country for 20 years (2006 – 2026), initially as head of a military government and then as an elected Prime Minister.

Pacific Predictions 2022!

The new year brings opportunities and challenges for the Pacific. There are big questions being asked across the region – questions that go to the heart of how countries, peoples and regional organisations see themselves and how they relate to the rest of the world.
Natalina Hong, SICCI’s Chief Executive Officer remarked that, “We have received encouraging feedback from the businesses who have attested that the campaign has brought their services more recognition."

SICCI and Meta ‘Influen-shell’ Campaign Boosts Solomon Islands Businesses

The ‘Influen-shell’ social media campaign promoting local businesses, which was developed in partnership between Meta (formerly Facebook) and the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has successfully concluded its initial run.
For Kiribati, where employment options are scant, merchant seafarers working on international vessels have historically made an important contribution to the country’s remittance flows, which accounted for 10–12% of Kiribati’s GDP pre-COVID.

Has COVID-19 Ended Seafaring for Kiribati?

The Kiribati government closed their international border late in March 2020, to keep their island population of approximately 140,000 people safe from COVID-19.
In 2022, alongside other security challenges like climate change and transnational crime, the region’s policymakers will have to show further resilience and ingenuity as they navigate the region through and out of the pandemic.

COVID-19 – the Pacific Response: 2021 in Review

Although COVID-19 will remain a major challenge for governments in the Pacific, there is hope that 2022 will see the region reconnecting with the rest of the world.
In a terrifying glimpse of things to come, this current La Nina is raising sea levels by 15-20 centimetres in some western Pacific regions – the same sea level rise projected to occur globally by 2050, regardless of how much we cut global emissions between now and then.

La Nina Raised Sea Levels in the Western Pacific by up to 20cm

Severe coastal flooding inundated islands and atolls across the western equatorial Pacific last week, with widespread damage to buildings and food crops in the Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
“As the Pacific region gradually reopens borders, safeguarding health, resuming safe travel, strengthening economic management, and promoting fiscal sustainability will be key to ensuring a resilient recovery from COVID-19,” said ADB Director General for the Pacific Leah Gutierrez.

Tourism to Help Pacific Growth Redound in 2022: ADB Report

The economies of the Pacific are set to rebound in 2022, according to the latest issue of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Pacific Economic Monitor (PEM) launched today.