In brief: Pacific news
Eight new deaths from Covid-10 in New Caledonia
New Caledonia recorded eight more deaths from Covid-19 in its latest daily update.
It brings the death toll on French territory to 101.
In addition, health authorities have reported 459 new confirmed cases of the virus.
New Caledonia has recorded 6,838 cases since the beginning of June.
Almost a third of the population has been vaccinated.
75 candidates register for elections in Tonga
In Tonga, 75 people registered as candidates in the November legislative elections.
There are 17 seats in Tonga’s parliament for democratically elected members.
Fifteen are titular and 11 women are standing, including Losaline Ma’asi, the current MP for Tongatapu No. 5.
An unincorporated seat is Tongatapu No 6. – the seat of the former Deputy Prime Minister, Sione Vuna Fa’otusia, who died last month.
The other is Vava’u No 16, who has been detained several times by the husband and wife team, ‘Etuate and’ Akosita Lavulavu – they have both been convicted of corruption and are currently serving sentences in the prison of Hu’atolitoli.
The noble families will also choose candidates to run for the nine seats reserved for the nobility.
Kanak broadcaster Joseph Caihe cried
New Caledonia mourns the death of television veteran Joseph Caihe, RFO’s first Kanak journalist.
The 71-year-old TV personality died at his home in Mont-Dore yesterday following a bad fall.
It is famous for its influence on the audiovisual landscape of New Caledonia, notably by hosting the Melanesia 2000 festival.
Originally from Lifou Island, Caihe began his television career in 1980 and announced his retirement in 2015.
Caihe held several management positions including Regional Director of RFO Wallis and Futuna from 2002 before returning to Noumea in 2008 until his retirement, which included coverage of the Pacific Games in 2011.
Samoa re-issues travel advisory for inbound travelers
The Samoan Ministry of Health has issued a revised travel advisory for travelers wishing to enter the country, with immediate effect.
All travel documents must now be in English, and if they are not passengers, they will be denied boarding without exception.
Passengers from the Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales, India and the United Kingdom are not authorized to travel directly to Samoa.
Instead, they must all travel via a country that does not have community transmission or where community transmission of the delta variant of Covid-19 is minimal. In these countries, travelers must then spend 28 days before traveling to Samoa.
All travelers and crew members should now be fully immunized with the two required doses, with the exception of the single dose Janssen vaccine.
The advisory also states that the other preferred vaccines are those already prequalified by the WHO, and include AstraZeneca, Pfiser, Moderna and Sinopharm.
Facebook seeks to tackle health misinformation in PNG
Facebook says its campaign to fight health misinformation has reached an estimated 800,000 people in Papua New Guinea.
The social media platform’s Fight Covid-19 Misinformation campaign will begin a replay this week, with Facebook saying it is making progress on the issue.
In his address to the United Nations General Assembly, PNG Prime Minister James Marape cited Facebook as a concern in terms of disinformation about the pandemic. He linked it to the low vaccination rate in PNG.
Facebook says its campaign is helping ensure that people in PNG have easy access to official public health resources to make informed decisions about the information they see on Facebook.
The campaign took place in seven other regions of the Pacific: Cook Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Wallis and Futuna.
Tuilaepa against the reopening of the airstrip
The leader of the opposition party for the protection of human rights, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, has warned of plans to reopen the Fagali’I airstrip to travel to American Samoa.
According to TV1Samoa, Tuilaepa said the main reason for the airstrip closure was safety as the runway was too short for the fast planes used by both Samoa Airways and Talofa Airways.
And he said the threat of drug trafficking was another reason his government closed the airport.
Civil Aviation Minister Olo Fiti Va’ai recently told parliament he would reopen the airstrip as it would suit the traveling public.
Olo said he intended to close Ti’avea’s new airstrip before a plane even landed there.