The Government of the Republic of Nauru

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Nauru’s “Capture & Contain” Strategy continues to keep Nauru free of COVID-19


Government Information Office




His Excellency President Lionel Rouwen Aingimea, MP


For Immediate Release

Tuesday, 23 November 2021



Nauru's "Capture & Contain" Strategy continues to keep Nauru free of COVID-19


Our maritime border protocols require several measures for arriving ships, including minimum quarantine periods at sea and then testing all persons on board before they are allowed to undertake contact operations on Nauru. Regardless and where possible, ships operate a no-contact procedure in Nauru.


The arrival screening procedures have identified one crew on a landing craft with a weakly positive COVID test result.


This positive COVID result was identified late yesterday, Monday 22nd November. The crew member is well and has had no symptoms.


This vessel has been in quarantine at sea for the last 2 weeks and there has been no unprotected contact with anyone on Nauru.


It appears likely that this is a historical case who was most probably infected a few weeks ago when two members of that vessel's crew tested positive whilst in Fiji. The infected crew were taken off the vessel at that time, earlier this month, and all remaining crew were tested and returned negative results. They were then cleared by Fiji authorities to begin their voyage to Nauru.


The landing Craft "Krishnan" departed Lautoka, Fiji on the 6th November 2021 with a crew of ten outbound for Nauru. The Krishnan has 98 water tanks on board destined for the Nauru Community. The vessel spent more than 14 days at sea and without any contact with any other vessel or port, before approaching our Port in Aiwo, as per our Maritime COVID procedures.


The Krishnan completed its 14 days quarantine on Friday and the crew was tested for COVID-19 on Monday 22nd of November.


Late on Monday, we were advised that one crew member returned a weak positive result.

This crew member and all others have all remained well and have had no symptoms since leaving Fiji.


The lab results suggest that this person was probably infected earlier in November and is no longer contagious. The crew member is also fully vaccinated which may also explain why the test result was so weak and further reinforces that it is very unlikely that the crew member is contagious.


The Nauru COVID Taskforce met last night and despite the very low risk from this historical case, and with an abundance of caution, the Taskforce has advised the Krishnan to drift and quarantine for a further 10 days.


Nauru Public Health will remotely review all crew each day for any symptoms or signs of infection and the crew will be re-tested on the 10th day.


According to WHO guidelines, if a person who tests positive to COVID but has no symptoms for 10 days, then the research shows they are no longer contagious and they cannot spread the virus and WHO guidelines releases them from any restrictions.


This is a case we have identified at the border.


This case remains on a vessel and he has not been on Nauru.


The result is a very weak positive and it is very likely an old infection and he is no longer contagious.


Regardless of that low risk, we have decided to delay operations with this vessel until we are further reassured that there is no risk of COVID entering Nauru.


The Taskforce and Public Health teams will monitor and provide updates as needed.


As the world moves to a new and different approach to living with COVID and many countries, including Australia and Fiji, accepting that COVID will be endemic and that we just need to live with it around us all the time, we need to expect and not be surprised if we begin to catch more cases on our border.


However if we either continue to contain these cases at the border, or ensure we have everyone protected by vaccination, including our children, then we should no longer be scared by cases being picked up at the border.


In fact, we should be happy and celebrate that this shows our systems are working, our Public Health teams are getting the swabs, our Lab is doing the tests, and our Taskforce and Health Department are on top of every issue all the time.


May God continue to bless and protect Nauru.


Mwa tubwa kor.