Photo: Government of Nauru

YAREN (RNZ PACIFIC) —The number of active Covid-19 cases in the community in Nauru has almost doubled in three days.

There are now 606 cases, up from 337 reported on Sunday.

President Lionel Aingimea said that, as of Wednesday, 14 people are in negative air pressure units.

He said the vaccination rate is high, at 98 percent.

This is the first time Nauru has experienced community transmission of the virus.

Just 13 cases had been detected at the borded in late March – they have all since recovered.

Nauru government information officer Kelly Amram said Covid-19 protocols are in place in an effort to slow down the spread of the virus.

“We are advised to stay at home, we are not in lockdown. Only essential workers can work. We may go out to buy things if we need for the house but we are asked to wear a mask when we leave the house.”

Quarantine facilities have now reached full capacity on the island.

A drive-through Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) station has been set up at the Tigers oval in Aiwo.

Other testing stations are available at the Naoero Public Health.

Seventy-five houses are under isolation and have received boxes of water and noodles from the government.

The government said that boxes of eggs are due to be donated by Taiwan.

Meanwhile, the Refugee Action Coalition said some of those contracting covid are refugees.

The Sydney-based Coalition said refugees on the island are extremely anxious, saying the hospital is ill-equipped to deal with acute covid cases.

It also said the cost-of-living crisis is pushing the refugees and asylum seekers further into poverty, as they struggle to survive on their meagre weekly allowances from the Australian Government.

The Coalition’s spokesperson Ian Rintoul is calling on the Canberra government to step up.

“The new Labor government has to make sure that no one is left behind on Nauru,” he said.

“The COVID outbreak is immediately putting their lives in danger. The Albanese government should bring all the refugees and asylum seekers to safety in Australia.”

There are about 350 asylum seekers and refugees left on Nauru….PACNEWS

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