The small, South Pacific nation Cook Islands who has not yet had an serious issues with Covid-19 is preparing for its first possible infections now that a infected traveler, who was likely contagious while on the islands, visited their Prime Minister Mark Brown recently.
The traveler was from New Zealand. The traveler spent just over a week in the community and tested positive for the Omicron variant after returning to his home country. This according to a video by PM Brown posted on the governments Facebook page.
Brown posited that the visitor was likely contagious while visiting Cook Islands and that he believed the virus was likely in the community. He also stated it was possible that there was “silent transmission” in the Cook Islands due to their high vaccination rate, so the infection is so mild people don’t know they have it.
Only .4% of the nation’s 17,000 citizens are not double vaccinated (for people over 12) and only 30% have not received a booster.
Cook Islands had shut it shelf off from the world early in 2020 when the pandemic hit and just resumed quarantine-free travel with New Zealand a month ago.
The island country reported a single case of Covid this past December when someone arrived on a repatriation flight, however they were not exposed to the community at large.
Brown stated that he thought their high vaccination rate has afforded the country a strong shield against the pandemic.