The Government of the Republic of Nauru

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE by His Excellency President Lionel Aingimea, MP Sunday, 19 June 2022



His Excellency President Lionel Aingimea, MP


Sunday, 19 June 2022


In today's update, His Excellency President Lionel Aingimea says the number of people with COVID is rising but none are in a critical state. At the moment we have 156 who are COVID-positive; 101 of them have been placed in isolation and the rest are isolating at home.  Some are isolating in Ewa, Batisi, Aiwo, Boe, Menen, and Ijuw.

There are only four people in the negative pressure Acute Care Unit (ACU) at the RON Hospital, and none of them are in respiratory distress nor are they in a critical condition needing 24/7 assistance.

The President reiterates that when COVID-19 was detected in our community on Thursday 16 June, a lot of people were tested and 49 tested positive on that day. Testing was done again on Friday 17 June and Saturday 18 June, and more positive cases came to light.

Our vaccination rate here is very high. We have over 98 per cent vaccination rate, and we're expecting more vaccines for the younger population, the paediatric population to be coming in at the end of this month.

I want to stress the point that the spread of this virus is dependent on the movement of people. So if people walk, the virus walks. If people make contact, the virus makes contact. So it is absolutely of vital importance that if you leave home you put your mask on, that stops the virus spreading. If you leave home you make sure you put all the safety COVID practices of keeping a safe distance, sanitise your hands, ensure that you have your mask on, those are critically important.

If we isolate at home, and keep our movements to a minimum the spread of this virus will also be kept to a minimum.

There will be services that will be considered essential. But a lot of you will be told to stay at home, however, this will not affect your salaries. You will still be paid. It is the commitment of this government to ensure that everyone still gets paid even though they are considered non-essential services and they are not coming to work.

But there will be those who will be considered essential services and they will be expected to come to work. As an example - the education department. Teachers will not be coming to work and the majority of office staff in the education department will not be coming to work. Since this is government pay week, those responsible for salaries in education will be coming to work but staff will be allocated scheduled times to work on staff salaries so that we're ensuring that the safety precautions in regards to COVID is adhered to.

Other things that will be considered by your heads of department (HODs) are what are considered essential services.

Eigigu Supermarket will also be opening for longer hours and will soon have a hotline for grocery orders. If you do not want to leave home you can call them and purchase your food items and they will be delivered to you.

There was some panic buying around the island and I want to put your hearts and minds at ease that government will continue to bring in freighters and cargo ships to ensure that this island is amply supplied as was when COVID was first declared globally. There was also panic buying then but that tapered off and soon stopped when people realised that freighters and ships were still coming in. There is nothing stopping us to ensure that supplies keep coming to this island.

We have also been told that some shops have increased the cost of their goods. If you are aware of any store doing this, please report it to the Treasury Office, they are managing this.

One shop has been ordered to close because of unnecessary price inflation of a carton of bottled water from $14 to $20. Their business operations have since been suspended by the Justice Department.

Food and supplies will continue to be brought in. Your government is ready to stand behind Nauru and continue to supply food and essentials. There is no need to be anxious and cause unnecessary panic buying.

We have also spoken to private businesses to bring in rapid antigen test (RAT) kits for people to purchase and do your own COVID testing at home. These are approved Australian standard test kits.

The number of COVID-positive cases will continue to rise. The reason we place people in isolation in our facilities or at home, is so we slow down the speed of the virus spreading in the community. If we stop our movements, then we also stop or slow the spread of the virus. We cannot stop the spread if people continue to go against the advice to minimise movements and other health measures.

It is important that we put our masks on when we leave home and keep our 1.5 metre distancing and we sanitise.

Thank you all. God bless Nauru.