NOUMEA, New Caledonia — France’s overseas territory of New Caledonia has reported its first three cases of confirmed COVID-19 infections.
The remote Pacific Ocean archipelago has, until now, been coronavirus-free.
A doctor in the Department of Health and Social Affairs, Sébastien Mabon, said that the first cases had been confirmed Monday.
“The first three cases discovered on Monday were unrelated, so people have caught COVID-19 in New Caledonia, which confirms that the virus has been circulating for a few days,” said Mabon.
Authorities have reacted robustly. Strict confinement has entered into force for an initial period of 15 days. This is the third confinement in 18 months. The first two were implemented before any virus cases were confirmed in the area.
To date over 30% of the New Caledonian population of around 270,000 have been vaccinated.