Covid wave in French Polynesia

489 new cases in the last 24 hours (with a population of only 270.000, 406 cases/100.000 in the last week), 1837 active cases and the ICU unit of the hospital in Papeete is full!

During the first wave last year the numbers were low, then French Polynesia closed its borders and remained almost Covid-free for a long town. Now borders have been open again for flight tourists for two months and even though the safety measures at the airport seemed quite strict, the delta variant has arrived and is spreading quickly.

Unfortunately only about a third of the population is vaccinated so far–after an enthusiastic start people lost interest and only now with the fear of the delta variant spreading vaccination numbers are rising again.

We are the only boat anchored in a quiet corner of Southern Tahiti, but had to go up to Papeete (30 km) yesterday for an appointment. We keep up the same precautions we’ve always used (masks, desinfectant), but still decided to travel by thumb. Motoring up with Pitufa in no wind takes ages, the air condition on the public buses makes sure that you catch at least a severe cold (if not Covid from one of the numerous passengers). Astoundingly enough, hitching rides remains easy and chatting with the drivers we got the impression that people are at least taking the virus more seriously again.

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