Lifou, New Caledonia, has been verified as the site of a Covid-19 outbreak.

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According to the Loyalty Islands provincial administration in New Caledonia, four people on the island of Lifou have tested positive for Covid-19.

According to an official, the four have mild symptoms and are being isolated at home.

According to the authorities, seven patients with Covid-19 were admitted to hospital in Noumea yesterday, including a patient transported from Lifou.

At midday Tuesday, New Caledonia declared a two-week state of emergency after three Covid-19 cases were discovered the day before in three distinct places.


The Gaston-Bourret Hospital Center dispenses Covid-19 vaccine injections in Noumea. New Caledonia, Noumea, February 17, 2021

Photo: AFP

The authorities have restated that the virus is in circulation in the community and urge the public to adhere to the restrictions.

Under the lockdown rules, anyone in public must carry a written attestation justifying their movement.

Flights and ferries have stopped operating, except for flights carrying medical staff.

Vaccinations were made mandatory last week but to date only about a third of the population has had a jab.

The latest lockdown is the third, after one last year and one in March.

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New Caledonia has had just over 140 Covid-19 cases but no fatality.

State of emergency approved for French Pacific territories

The French National Assembly has overwhelmingly approved a law to extend the state of emergency in overseas territories hardest hit by the surge of the Covid-19 pandemic.

While the original text excluded New Caledonia, it was added as an amendment during the debate following Monday’s detection of a community outbreak.

The extension will be valid until mid-November and applies to most French overseas territories, including French Polynesia.

It will allow authorities to impose curfews, which are currently in use in Tahiti, to try to curb the spread of the virus.

The law also provides the option to declare a state of emergency in Wallis and Futuna until mid-November, should the territory issue a health emergency before October 15.

Wallis and Futuna was declared Covid-19 free in July after eliminating its only community outbreak in March.

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The new French law is expected to be voted on in the Senate tomorrow and then signed off by the government.

In the Assembly, the law had the backing of the major parties including the National Rally.

The leftist party of Jean-Luc Melenchon opposed it, with Mr Melenchon labelling the overseas territories the worst medical deserts of France where the government won’t tackle the structural reasons for the health crisis.


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