Cook Islands records first Covid case since pandemic outbreak

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The Cook Islands have reported their first case of Covid-19 nearly two years after the coronavirus pandemic began, as the country prepares to reopen to tourists.

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The first infection in the island nation has been detected in a 10-year-old boy, who recently returned on a repatriation flight with 176 others and is in quarantine, Prime Minister Mark Brown said in a statement, adding to the strong scrutiny in the country. Place.

Other passengers of the flight have tested negative for Covid.


“We are preparing ourselves to reopen our borders. Our testing arrangements have shown the value of that preparedness by catching the case at the border,” Mr Brown said.

“I want to reiterate that for the many months we have been planning how we will reopen the border and deal with any potential coronavirus threats, I further reiterate the importance of immunizing all eligible members of our population, we must To give an extra layer of protection against serious illness and possible death,” he said, New Zealand Herald,

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The boy is believed to have returned from New Zealand, a country where the Cook Islands were soon going to open their borders, as it intended to restart tourism, an industry on which the country’s economy depends.

The new rules are due to come into effect from January 14 and were set to allow quarantine-free travel between the two countries. However, it is not clear whether the government will review its decision now.

While several Pacific island nations, including Fiji, French Polynesia and the Marshall Islands, have reported cases of Covid, the Cook Islands were spared from the coronavirus for nearly two years by completely closing their borders.

The island nation has a population of just 17,000 and one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, with 96 percent of people completely locked down.


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