(ORDO NEWS) — For the first time since the start of the pandemic, a case of COVID-19 infection has been detected in the Cook Islands. This may indicate “silent transmission”.
Island nation authorities say infection could indicate so-called ‘silent transmission’
According to a statement by Prime Minister Mark Brown, the first infected arrived in the country on February 7 from New Zealand.
The infected person spent eight days on the island of Rarotonga and did not develop symptoms until the day of the return flight to New Zealand. The traveler later tested positive for omicron.
Cook Islands authorities have identified and published a list of places visited by an infected person while in the country. They also identified and tested by PCR 31 people who had close contact with the infected person. Their results were negative.
“After examining information received locally and from the New Zealand Department of Health, it is highly likely that the person contracted the virus while on the island of Rarotonga.
This indicates that a “silent transfer” may be taking place. Our high vaccination rates have played a role in terms of protection – people can get COVID but experience mild symptoms and don’t realize they have them,” the prime minister said.
Official figures show that 99.6% of the island nation’s approximately 17,000 residents aged 12 and over have received a double vaccination, and 70% of them have received a booster.
“The fact that we have a large percentage of our people vaccinated will give us substantial protection against serious diseases, ” Brown said.
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