Chatham Islands Records First COVID-19 Cases

Chatham Islands, one of the most remote inhabited places in the world, reported its first COVID-19 cases after nearly two years since the pandemic began.

Canterbury District Health Board (DHB) confirmed on March 6 afternoon that two residents on the islands have tested positive for COVID-19.

The two cases are isolating and being supported, Canterbury DHB said.

“We encourage anyone who isn’t vaccinated or hasn’t had their booster to get vaccinated as soon as possible — the Chatham Islands Health Center will be offering vaccinations tomorrow,” Canterbury DHB’s Emergency Coordination Centre Controller Dr. Helen Skinner said.

Chatham Islands launched a mass vaccination program last year.

Skinner also said that DHB will distribute rapid antigen tests to all households on the islands this week.

Chatham Islands is home to around 600 permanent residents and is located just over 800 kilometers east of New Zealand’s mainland.

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