The Stream

Can coronavirus threaten isolated Pacific nations?

Tourism-reliant Pacific island nations worried about economic impact of pandemic.

On Thursday, July 2 at 19:30 GMT: 
The Pacific Islands have not escaped the attention of the coronavirus, despite being some of the most isolated places in the world.

For many of these island nations, the economic impact of the pandemic is being felt even greater than the health crisis. Due to their idyllic surroundings, many of the islands are heavily reliant on tourism revenue.

Fiji, which has declared itself coronavirus-free after 18 COVID-19 patients recovered, says it now hopes to create a so-called “travel bubble” with Australia and New Zealand in an effort to revive its tourism industry. Australia and New Zealand have yet to comment on the proposal.

Officials in the nation of Palau are trying to figure out how to maintain their country’s coronavirus-free status while allowing their citizens to come home. Many of them are trapped in the United States, which is the worst affected country in the world.

On this episode of the Stream we meet a group of Pacific Islanders and ask, what lies ahead?

On this episode of The Stream, we are joined by: 
Ngedikes Olai Uludong, @nuludong
Palau Ambassador to the United Nations

Dr. Aalisha Sahukhan, @AalishaSahukhan
Head of Health Protection at the Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services

Sapeer Mayron, @sapeermayronnz
Reporter, Samoa Observer 

Read more: 
Which countries have not reported any coronavirus cases? – Al Jazeera 
Remote Pacific islands prepare for worst as coronavirus looms – Al Jazeera