The Cook Islands, a tiny South Pacific nation, confirmed its first coronavirus-related death on Sunday, more than two years after the outbreak began.
A 63-year-old woman with underlying health issues died on her way to the hospital late Saturday on the island of Aitutaki.
Prime Minister Mark Brown said in a statement on Sunday “It is with great sadness that I report the first in-country death related to Covid-19.”
The island nation had been surprisingly free of Covid-19 until an outbreak of the Omicron strain arose after it reopened its border to New Zealand visitors earlier this year.
“It is tragic, but not unexpected that we might lose someone to Covid,” Brown said.
The Cook Islands Health Ministry reported 4,727 Covid-19 cases, 735 of which were active as of Sunday morning.