Some 27 students in Vanuatu have tested positive to the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
The cases were detected during the first day of testing of 77 students of Ranwadi Secondary school in Penama province who appeared to have flu-like symptoms.
The Penama health manager Markson Tabi said they will now test all 300 students at the school.
Tabi said a health team from Port Vila is going to assist the Penama team that is already at the school.
They will assist with setting up a quarantine camp and other logistics because there is no hospital on Pentecost.
Tabi said both teams will be trying to work out how omicron got on to Pentecost which had not previously had any cases of Covid-19.
Meanwhile, a petition launched in Vanuatu on Thursday is calling for an end to the pandemic curfew, the bringing forward the border opening date and the right to work.
The petition is being led by a restaurant owner, Romuald Ledoux, who said with the curfew operating from 8pm to 6am it is impossible for businesses to operate.
Ledoux said they want to gather the signatures of concerned citizens, workers and business operators, who are desperate to get back to work and earn money.
The petition is circulating in the capital Port Vila but will also be sent to Luganville and other places.
Photo: Hilaire Bule Caption: Ranwadi students get tested for Covid-19.