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COVID-19 Pandemics in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories

Weber, Eberhard and Kopf, Andreas and Vaha, Milla (2021) COVID-19 Pandemics in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories. In: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreaks, Environment and Human Behaviour. Springer Nature, Switzerland, pp. 25-47. ISBN 9783030681197

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Abstract

By the middle of February 2021, the COVID-19 pandemics are still ongoing. Globally, some 110 million cases have been recorded. More than 2.4 million people have died from the disease caused by the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus as of February 15, 2021. In many Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICT), however, morbidity and mortality have been low. Most PICs have no cases. Where cases exist, mortality has been low with a few exceptions. That being said, social and economic consequences are severe in all places. The chapter gives a brief reflection on historical experience with epidemics in the Pacific Island region. The remainder of the chapter looks at the epidemiology of the COVID-19 pandemics, the “who, when, and where” of COVID-19 in the Pacific Islands, its associated risk factors, and possible ways to control the pandemics. Medical preparedness of PICT health systems in PICTs, and their material and organizational constitution are covered as well as the support PICT received from outside to deal with the situation. The chapter also provides an account of social and economic impacts of COVID-19, including challenges to care for Pacific Islanders away from home. Some PICs (Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu) had to deal with a severe tropical cyclone just at the time when governments tried to implement measures against COVID-19. To conclude, the chapter provides recommendations of how to strengthen PICT capabilities and capacities to improve preparedness against similar medical treats in the future. In the chapter, Fiji and Papua New Guinea (PNG) stand in the center of analysis. Some other Pacific Islands and Territories were included, where reported cases emerged and/or where important situations arose. In a few instances, the chapter also looks at the situation Pacific Islanders faced outside their countries.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DU Oceania (South Seas)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment
Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Eberhard Weber
Date Deposited: 04 May 2021 12:06
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2021 12:06
URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/12750
UNSPECIFIED

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