Covid-19 is spreading throughout Vanuatu, with six confirmed cases on the island of Tanna in Tafea province in the south.

There is now a Level 3 alert.

Bruno Leingkone, the Minister of Health, announced new public health emergency rules restricting travel between the islands of Tanna, Erromango, and Aneityum.

Anyone travelling by sea or air into or out of Tanna, Erromango, and Aneityum must follow the approved travel guidelines.

The ruling does not apply to those seeking medical treatment in Port Vila or Luganville, those transporting cargoes, materials, or equipment for essential services, or those providing such services.

The island of Tanna is one of Vanuatu’s most populous and its schools and markets will be allowed to continue operating, but strict compliance with hand washing, social distancing, and other hygiene practises is required.

Those suffering from symptoms have been ordered to isolate themselves in a healthcare facility, a community isolation centre, or at home.

Vaccination rates on Tanna, as in much of Vanuatu, are extremely low.

Meanwhile, Pentecost Island has reported 99 positive Covid-19 cases since the first case was discovered there a week ago.

All are from the western side of the island, where testing is still ongoing, but due to access issues, there has been no testing on the eastern side of Pentecost.

After students from western side schools were sent home last week, Penama Health discovered 27 positive cases at Ranwadi Secondary School on Thursday.

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