Pacific Media Watch

29 January 2020

REGION: Coronavirus: Pacific Islands ‘fighting a war’ on epidemics

Video report by RNZ Pacific's Jamie Tahana.

AUCKLAND (RNZ Pacific/Asia Pacific Report/Pacific Media Watch): In the Pacific, where several countries are already dealing with epidemics, some countries have taken extreme measures to try and halt the spread of the new coronavirus.

While authorities say the risk of an outbreak remains low, little is being left to chance – especially in measles-devastated Samoa.

Fiji authorities were holding six Chinese travellers in quarantine as a precaution after they failed to gain entry to Samoa.

The Samoan government confirmed that the six were refused entry for not meeting strict quarantine requirements implemented last Friday.

Japan and United States airlifted their citizens from Wuhan today as the death toll rose to at least 170 with 7711 people confirmed to be infected in China. The virus has now spread to every one of China’s 31 provinces.

Al Jazeera reports that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had warned all governments to “take action” over the SARS-like virus that originated in the Hubei capital of Wuhan.

Beyond China, more than a dozen countries have reported the illness, with new cases reported on Wednesday in Finland and the United Arab Emirates.

This video and article are republished under the Pacific Media Centre’s content partnership with Radio New Zealand.

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