Saturday, April 13, 2024

COVID support booster for Niue

Aotearoa New Zealand will send a medical team and supplies to Niue to help it respond to new cases of COVID-19, following the opening of its border to quarantine-free travel last week, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare announced today.

The Ministers said a Medical Assistance Team will head to Niue on a NZ Defence Force C-130 Hercules tomorrow, following a request for support from the Niuean government.

The first quarantine-free passenger flight from New Zealand arrived in Niue on 27 June, and positive cases were detected the following day as part of mandatory day-one testing for the passengers.

“Niue has had considerable success in keeping out COVID-19. We know from our own experiences how challenging it is to deal with this virus,” Minister Mahuta said.

“Aotearoa New Zealand has provided support to Niue since the outset of the pandemic, including economic support, assistance for its vaccine programme, support from a principal health adviser, and advice across health and border policy settings.

“Niue has enviable vaccination rates. Around 99 percent of those aged over five years are double vaccinated, and 93 percent of those over 18 years are boosted. These vaccination rates will help provide a strong defence against this virus.

“In line with our shared planning for a response, a public health physician from the Polynesian Health Corridors programme and a laboratory technician from Pacific Pathology Training Centre are travelling to Niue today,” the Minister said.

The team of New Zealand Medical Assistance Team of doctors, nurses and logistics personnel will be deployed on Wednesday, along with supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) and additional rapid antigen tests.

“In addition, a New Zealand Defence Force team of five personnel will also travel to Niue to provide medical planning and logistics expertise to directly support the Niuean Government’s response,” said Minister Henare.

“The NZDF always stands ready to work alongside our partners across the Pacific, and New Zealanders can be proud that our Defence Force will play its part as Niue responds to the increase in COVID-19 cases,” he said.

All New Zealand-based travellers in Niue should follow local guidance and register their details with www.safetravel.govt.nz.

“Tourists and business travellers to Niue are required to have travel insurance to meet costs for medical treatment and travel delays. They must stay in place if isolating. We are committed to supporting Niue as it responds to this outbreak,” Ms Mahuta said.

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