More Covid-19 cases in French Polynesia with peak months away

Photo: AFP

French Polynesia’s health authorities say the number of Covid-19 cases has risen by another 47 for a second consecutive day to 1381, with the pandemic’s peak still months away.

1256 were detected since the beginning of August after the borders were opened and mandatory quarantine was abolished so that the tourism industry could receive a boost.

Projections by the government suggest the peak of the latest wave won’t be reached until January, raising concern for the health system’s ability to cope with the pandemic later this year.

Over the weekend there were 25 people in hospital, including five in intensive care.

The French High Commissioner Dominique Sorain said this week up to 60 intensive care units were available at the Tahiti hospital which had 200 beds.

Most Covid-19 positive cases are in urban areas of Tahiti, but some are in Moorea and Raiatea.

For the first time an active case was reported in Tubuai in the Austral islands.

The only fatalities remain a couple in their 80s from Papeete.

Anyone testing positive will from now on be counted as recovered if there have been no symptoms for seven days instead of 10 days as was previously the case.

Social distancing is encouraged and people are asked to limit travel from Tahiti to outer islands.

Meetings are set to remain restricted to a maximum of 10 people until at least the middle of October.

Masks have to be worn in enclosed public spaces, but this provision as well as the meeting limit are being challenged in court in Tahiti.

In the first Covid-19 wave from March to June, 62 cases were recorded.

More Stories