Tokelau becomes final Pacific nation to record Covid-19 cases

A vaccination centre on Nukunonu, August 2021 Photo: Government of Tokelau

Tokelau has recorded its first cases of Covid-19 at the border of its northern-most atoll, Atafu.

It is the last Pacific nation to have cases of the disease.

In a statement, the Ulu o Tokelau – or head of government – Siopili Perez said five cases had been picked up through RAT screening in quarantine.

The postive cases are all in good health and good spirits he said.

Perez said Tokelau had been very fortunate to date as it was the only country in the world alongside Turkmenistan where the virus had not spread in the community.

“It was important that we focus on getting everything right to keep the virus at the border. Right now, we are fortunate to have our own PCR analysis lab here on Nukunonu atoll so we will be able to know the results of their PCR tests soon to assess how much longer they will stay in managed isolation,” he said.

Only a week ago the World Health Organisation (WHO) said Tokelau was the only Pacific territory to not have any recorded cases.

The realm nation has requested that New Zealand fast-track shipments of the second booster dose by 29 December.

“Once our second booster has been administered, we will be even more confident in our fight against Covid-19,” added Perez.

“But for now, keeping the virus away from our community remains our utmost priority.”

Inter atoll travel has been banned until further notice.

Around 93 percent of eligible Tokelauans aged five years and over have been fully vaccinated.

Source: RNZ