By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Alofi (Stuff NZ)-- Niue, one of the only countries to remain Covid-free throughout the pandemic, has recorded its first case of the virus.
The person, a traveller from New Zealand, arrived on a flight on Monday.
The person, who is now in quarantine, was double vaccinated and boosted and had returned a negative PCR test and rapid antigen tests prior to boarding their flight, a statement from the office of premier Dalton Tagelagi said.
On the flight were 26 other passengers, who also tested negative prior to departure.
Niue, which has a population of just under 2,000, vaccinated 97 percent of its eligible population in 2021.
“Our extremely high vaccination rate is another factor in our favour, as it slows the spread of transmission and reduces the health impacts in those who do contract this virus,” the statement said.
“All officials that are deemed to have come in close contact with the case are currently in isolation and will be closely monitored and tested according to protocol.”
The other passengers had returned a negative Covid-19 test in Niue, but would be monitored and retested on day three, the statement said.
“We have expected this virus, we have prepared for it, and we are ready to contain its spread. We have remained vigilant; we have caught this case – and now I ask you to remain vigilant too.
“As we all know, the best defence against this virus is by keeping calm, working together, and making use of all the health and safety precautions that we know make a real difference in protecting us all from Covid-19.”
According to the World Health Organisation, there are just eight other countries that have not reported any Covid-19 cases – most of them in the Pacific. (Stuff NZ/PacNews)