The Government of the Republic of Nauru

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE by His Excellency President Lionel Aingimea, MP



His Excellency President Lionel Aingimea, MP


Tuesday, 5 April 2022


In today's update, His Excellency President Lionel Aingimea confirms a third person has tested positive to COVID-19, detected in quarantine at the RON Hospital acute ward negative pressure unit on the night of Monday 4 April.


These three people travelled on a passenger flight on 31 March and were placed in the COVID Acute Ward after two of them tested positive while in hotel quarantine. The third person who tested positive last night is the spouse of one of the first two cases.


They are well and asymptomatic and will remain in the Acute Ward for further observation and testing.


All travellers on that flight are still in quarantine at the Budapest Hotel and Anibare Village Transit Station; they are still negative. Their time in quarantine has been extended to Monday 11 April. They are being tested daily with the rapid antigen test (RAT) and PCR tested every five days. Keeping them longer in quarantine is a Taskforce protocol even though they are negative from COVID.


The President says although Nauru has lost its COVID-free status, the community is safe as there is no community transmission.


Schools and workplaces are still open and businesses are still operating.


According to the COVID Taskforce Nauru is at level one on the threat scale which means that COVID-19 has reached Nauru but is contained in the Acute Ward, therefore eliminating exposure in the community.


The COVID Taskforce and health department are conducting Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) in the community to assure the public of how safe it is and that there is no leakage of the virus into the community.


On the weekend all frontline workers were tested using PCR testing while rapid testing stations were set up at the government office on Monday 4 April for employees and the public. Everyone returned negative results.


The three scenic flights operated a day after this concerned flight on 31 March, are considered COVID-safe.

There was no exposure between the two flights and the crew on Thursday and Friday, and the plane was thoroughly sanitised after passengers and crew cleared the plane on Thursday night.


The same three pilots operated both flights - the commercial passenger flight on 31 March and the scenic flights; however, they safely remained and secured themselves in the cockpit for the duration of the scenic flights.


The flight attendants were a new crew from the previous flight which resulted in the COVID-positive cases.


Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, Nauru Airlines put in place strict cleaning and disinfection control measures that is observed for every flight which requires that the plane is thoroughly sanitised after each flight.


The only change to operations or movements in the country is that anyone visiting the hospital will need to wear a face mask. These are provided at the entry.


The RON Hospital now has only one point of entry and exit. All visitors will be screened and required to wear a mask.


Do not be alarmed if you see Public Health conducting random rapid antigen testing in the community. They have been conducting tests since 2021, well before these confirmed cases.


More people need to take their COVID vaccine. Vaccination levels for all age groups needs to be at least 95 per cent coverage to attain herd immunity and create a safer COVID environment.


Current vaccine coverage:

- 2nd dose for adults 18 years and over has reached 96 per cent;

- 3rd (booster) shot for adults has reached 64 per cent;

- 2nd dose for 12 to 17 year olds is at 80 per cent;

- The vaccine for ages 5 to 12 years is expected to arrive this month.


President Aingimea says vaccination is the best defence against serious health complications caused by COVID-19; adding that Nauru will eventually need a fourth dose of the vaccine.


Get tested and be reassured that our community is COVID-safe.


If you have flu-like symptoms or are concerned about COVID, go and get tested at the hospital.


The Rapid Antigen Tests are nasal only and the swab is inserted 2cm deep. The results are ready between 15 to 20 minutes.


The other test is the PCR lab test and this is usually for when you need to fly overseas and the country you are flying to require you to provide proof from a lab test that you do not have COVID.


Call the COVID Hotline, 191, for enquiries.