Kiribati capital to lock down after first community Covid cases

The capital of Kiribati in the central Pacific is to go into lockdown on Monday for four days after its first community cases of Covid-19 were detected.

Tarawa, Kiribati.

There are fears of an unfolding disaster as much of the main island of Tarawa is overcrowded and resource poor with only 30 per cent of the population double vaxxed.

The three community cases stem from a charter flight from Fiji on which 36 out of the 54 passengers tested positive after arriving in Tarawa. A further 40 passengers were denied boarding in Fiji because they tested positive.

1News understands while the passengers were put into quarantine when they arrived in Kiribati, a frontline worker caught the virus and there was a security breach which resulted in community transmission.

The village of Buota was put into immediate lockdown earlier this week following the security breach. There were angry scenes as residents were prevented from crossing the bridge to go and get food.

The rest of South Tarawa and Betio have until Monday to allow people to shop for provisions as many get paid on Friday.

There will be a 24 hour curfew and Government offices will be closed with no public transport.

Only emergency and essential services will be allowed to operate.

The Solomon Islands capital of Honiara is also in lockdown after a positive case was found in the community.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has warned the virus will rapidly spread and there will be deaths.