Eight island nations in the Pacific region are the last survivors of the brutal Covid-19 pandemic that has infected 98 million, including 2 million deaths, around the world since last year.
Palau, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu remain coronavirus-free as the world community enters the vaccine era.
The Federated States of Micronesia recorded its first Covid-19 positive case on Jan. 7 involving a crew member of the government-owned cargo-passenger vessel MV Chief Mailo, which returned from a yearlong dry-dock in the Philippines. National government officials reassured FSM citizens that the situation is under control.
The four FSM states have begun rolling out their vaccination programs,
Also among the previously Covid-free Pacific Island countries that have been hit eventually were Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, where the reported cases came from travelers arriving from overseas and picked up through border quarantine.
Fiji has gone more than 250 days without reporting a case of Covid-19 in the community.
Just the same, Pacific Island nations receive foreign aid that props up their inadequate health care systems.
This week, the European Union (EU), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations World Food Program and the Pacific Community (SPC) signed an agreement that will strengthen their existing partnership to support health sector responses to Covid-19 across the Pacific.
This follows the new Financing Agreement the EU and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat signed to repurpose funding to support the Pacific’s response to Covid-19.