PM Announcement: COVID-19 Update, 5th March 2022

5 March 2022

A short time ago, Prime Minister Mark Brown addressed the nation. Here is his address:

Kia orana tatou katoatoa,

Here is today’s COVID-19 update for Saturday, March 5.

There aren’t too many new issues that I need to bring to everyone’s attention today, so this will be a slightly shorter update than usual, but one thing I did want to let you all know about is the 22 positive cases we detected yesterday – the highest number of new cases we have detected in a single day so far.

This gives us a new total of 117 positive cases as at 8am this morning, with eight having been released from isolation, so that brings us to a total of 109 currently active cases as of today.

Given the amount of extra testing we have been doing this week, it is not surprising that we have picked up 57 new cases over the four days from March 1 to March 4.

Over that same time period we have conducted more than 4500 RAT tests, as well as 272 PCR tests, and picked up 57 cases. This is less than 1.5 per cent of people tested returning positive for COVID-19.

This is a very encouraging result – with almost half the entire population of Rarotonga having been tested by now, the fact that we still have less than 1.5 per cent of people testing positive can only be attributed to our very high vaccination rate.

Also encouraging is the continued turnout of people getting themselves and their children vaccinated, with another 531 doses delivered at Rarotonga Hospital yesterday, including 11 of our young ones getting their first paediatric dose and 447 getting their second dose.

This is excellent news, and means that in just six hours yesterday we were able to fully vaccinate almost a quarter of our eligible 5-11 year-old population.

I expect that figure to rise considerably again today, with the paediatric vaccinations, both first and second dose, still available up until 7pm this evening – just get yourself and your children to the Nikao Social Centre before then and our capable TMO staff will take it from there.

To all of our people who have taken the time to either get themselves tested, vaccinated or both this week – meitaki ma’ata. Your efforts are a major factor in the success we are having in managing this virus.

My sincere thanks also to our incredible staff, volunteers and officials at Te Marae Ora, in our Punas, and from all the many other government departments and teams we have working together to combat COVID-19 and its effects.

Beating COVID-19 and protecting our communities is a responsibility we all share, both as a government and as a people. It is something we must do together, and so far I have to say that I think we are all doing a great job.

Thank you all for playing your part in helping to protect the Cook Islands from COVID-19

That’s all for today, but either myself or TMO will continue to provide periodic public updates on our COVID-19 test numbers and results as the situation in our country develops, as well as if any further new positive cases emerge.

Everyone have a safe weekend, and we will see you again on Monday.

May God continue to bless us all.

Kia orana tatou katoatoa, e kia manuia.

Hon Mark Brown Prime Minister