Kirbati Island: Maiden COVID Cases

Kirbati is one of the most isolated islands in the world. It is located in Pacific Ocean, at 4,800 kimlometres from North America. So far Kirbati had recorded only two COVID-19 cases. Recently, Kirbati is facing community transmission.

What happened?

The island has been following strict travel measures. The first international flight to the island in ten months had COVID-19 infected travellers. Around 36 people in the flight have been tested positive. The flight came from Fiji. Kirbati entered into lock down with fresh guidelines after the detections.

Kirbati

It is an independent island country. Half of the population lives in Tarawa atoll. There are 32 atolls in the country. South Tarawa is the capital of Kirbati.

International Date Line and Kirbati

The International Date Line goes around Kirbati. This places the islands in the most advanced time zones of the earth, which is UTC+14.

Independence

Kirbati was a colony of the Britishers. It gained independence from the UK in 1979. Before independence Kibarti was exporting phosphates. However, the current government has stopped this. Kirbati is one of the least developed countries in the world.

Member of international bodies

Kirbati is a member of IMF, Pacific community, common wealth of nations, World Bank. Kirbati is highly vulnerable to climate change. And therefore, it is a member of Alliance of Small Island States.

Kiritimati in Kirbati

The Kiritimati is the world largest atoll and is located in Kirbati.

Environmental issues

The Tarawa, Tebua and abanuea islets of Kirbati disappeared under water in 1999. This was mainly due to increasing sea level. The further increase in sea level will lead to soil salination. The La Nina and El Nino climate phenomenon have huge impact on Kirbati islands. It submerges the low lying lands of the country. The Cyclones damage the coastal infrastructure and also destroy the sea walls.

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