Pacific Media Watch

11 March 2020

TAHITI: French Polynesia records first coronavirus case with lawmaker

French National Assembly deputy Maina Sage from Tahiti ... at home in self-isolation. Image: RNZ Pacific

PAPE'ETE (RNZ Pacific/Pacific Media Watch): French Polynesia has recorded its first coronavirus case.

President Edouard Fritch said the carrier was one of French Polynesia's members of the French National Assembly, Maina Sage, who returned from Paris at the weekend.

She was at home in self-isolation, Fritch said.

Reports say Sage had met the French Culture Minister Franck Riester, who has also been infected.

READ MORE: Tighter Pacific controls

Fritch said before returning to Tahiti she had had a medical check-up that showed no sign of the illness.

Amid concern over the spread of the virus, she then reportedly arranged for a test which came back positive.

Officials were trying to trace Sage's movements since she returned to the Tahitian capital of Pape'ete.

Travellers entering French Polynesia are expected to have a medical certificate showing they were free of the virus.

Fritch has asked French Polynesians to put off all travel abroad.

To offset the arrival of the coronavirus, most Pacific countries have imposed strict border controls.

Countries including Vanuatu, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, and Tonga have brought in health checks and turned away cruise ships in recent weeks.

This article is republished by the Pacific Media Centre under a partnership agreement with RNZ.

Pacific Media Watch

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