On Monday 28 November this week, the government announced the first community transmission of covid-19 in Niue. BCN News understands there were five cases identified as community transmission on Monday.
Twelve new cases were detected yesterday, bringing the total number of active cases to 33, according to the official Niue Covid dashboard latest update yesterday evening.
According to Director General of Health Gaylene Tasmania, in a RNZ Pacific online article this morning, explained that community transmission means a case has not been linked to any other infections such as those who are either positive cases or close contacts.
Sir Collin Tukuitonga also explained in the article “you can have a community case that is not from a community transmission, this is a case that is in the community connected to the border but this person is now in the community, that is not community transmission.”
“A case comes through the border, negative tests and therefore goes into the community but nobody knows they have covid-19 because they are asymptomatic and they test negative but they are carrying the virus with them.”
“So that individual could go home and be with family and be the source of infection,” explained Sir Collin on community transmission.
Meanwhile, four of the previously active cases have now fully recovered and have been released from isolation.
Since March this year, Niue has recorded a total of 136 cases of covid-19 and 103 of these cases are deemed recovered.
The new look of the covid dashboard no longer differentiates between a border linked case or community case. Since 6PM last night, the dashboard only updates on the number of new cases in the past 24 hours, total active cases, cases in hospital and recovered cases.
Government and health officials continue to remind members to practice and maintain covid-19 precautionary measures.
Stay up to date with the Niue covid dashboard at www.covid19.gov.nu
Timeline since first community cases leading up to community transmission
Although it is the first community transmission as confirmed by the government, Niue has experienced its first covid outbreak in the community a few months ago.
On July 29 this year, the government announced Niue’s first community cases not linked to the border. This resulted in the immediate effect of covid-19 alert code red but with no lockdown.
Before the national covid-19 alert code levels ceased last month, alert code red was classified as the highest posing imminent threat due to local cases existing in Niue with a high possibility of community transmission.
On August 6, as the number of community cases continued to rise, government and health officials initiated a nationwide RATs community testing campaign in order to identify and mitigate the spread of the virus in the community.
78 percent of the total population who participated all returned negative test results.
On August 10, Niue shifted from alert code red to yellow as there was no longer a threat of community transmission.
On October 4, Niue shifted from covid disaster response to recovery phase which no longer required the use of the covid alert codes and allowed the transition from emergency response to business as usual.
On November 22, last Tuesday, health officials detected two cases of covid-19 but were immediately classified as under investigation as they could not yet determine the source of the infection for cases whether it was border-linked or community transmission.
As of Monday this week, November 28, the two cases under investigation were finally identified as community transmission.
The next update on Niue’s covid-19 situation will be this evening.