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VANUATU MAY NOT BE PREPARED FOR CORONAVIRUS

Statements released by the Vanuatu Health Authorities do not show a contingency plan or crisis response to the Coronavirus taking the world in its wake.

Late this afternoon, a response from Health Director, Donald Pelum, stated that the Vanuatu Health Authorities will meet and submit a plan by Tuesday 28th January, 2020.

As the virus enters the Melanesian region, the only information available to media from Health Authorities is advice from the World Health Organisation – WHO, which the Health Promotions Unit have released on their page.

The Fijian PM has addressed the nation as the Health Ministry is awaiting test results for six Chinese Nationals currently under quarantine in Nadi as a precaution against the Novel Coronavirus.

Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete confirms the individuals have been isolated until such time as the all-clear is given.

For PNG there has been speculation on a case but the PNG Government has come out to dismiss the claims and says there is no suspected case yet however there are 21 PNG students in Wuhan Province at various universities who want to be evacuated from Wuhan before the situation becomes worse and are pleading to the PNG Government to have them evacuated.

Six Chinese nationals who landed in Samoa on Sunday were immediately deported back to Fiji where they remain in quarantine. 

The Samoan Observer reported that the six were deported for not meeting new quarantine procedures designed to prevent the lethal coronavirus from reaching Samoan shores, the Ministry of Health (M.O.H.) has said. 

The Vanuatu Government is being pressured to close its borders from Chinese travellers as if the Coronavirus reaches Vanuatu, it has the potential to wipe out the full population.

The Vanuatu Health Authorities are not versed or trained for an epidemic of this magnitude and it is a worry as countries around Vanuatu are declaring cases of the Coronavirus.