Pacific island in lockdown after first flight in months brings Covid to paradise

The Pacific island of Kiribati has gone into lockdown after welcoming it's first international flight in months which brought Covid to the beach paradise.

The remote island managed to stay Covid free until Saturday after two-thirds of flight passengers tested positive for the virus and four cases were found in the community.

This is the first lockdown the paradise island have experienced due to remaining Covid free for most of the pandemic.

The lockdown has been put in place after a Fiji Airways flight from Fiji to Kiribati's capital of South Tarawa was the first to land in 10 months after the government reopened its borders.

Out of 54 people trying to enjoy a getaway, 36 of them have tested positive for Covid-19.

Everyone on the flight had been vaccinated prior to landing in Kiribati.

The government have quickly reacted and put together a quarantine facility for all of the holidaymakers.

Officials confirmed that a guard at the facility tested positive on Tuesday and two people who were in close contact in nearby Bouta village are self-isolating while another two cases were detected in the community.

Due to this the government issued an island-wide lockdown from Saturday.

Locals of the island will now face a curfew and won't be allowed to leave their homes unless it is for essential work or to gain emergency services help.

Schools will also be closed down for the time being.

School teacher and dad-of-three Kareaua Nawaia, 32, told The Guardian : "As parents, we are worried about our children because unlike us, they are unvaccinated and have no access to one [a vaccine] on the island."

Last month, the island's government reported that 93.4 per cent of over-18s had had one dose of the Covid vaccine while only 53.1 per cent were double-jabbed

The Kiribati government have been urging people to get vaccinated.

A doctor on the remote island slammed the government for being too slow to impose a lockdown.

Dr Tabutoa Eria wrote on Facebook: "It might [be] too late if you [the lockdown] come next week. Our beloved n beautiful people please avoid unnecessary movements. Virus won't move if we don't."

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