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Tonga reports 1st COVID-19 case in traveler from New Zealand




By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

On Friday, the Hon. Rev. Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa, the Prime Minister of Tonga announced the arrival of the first confirmed COVID-19 case on the Pacific Island nation of slightly more than 100,000 people.

Image by Miroslava Chrienova from Pixabay

The case was a passenger who travelled from Christchurch, New Zealand on the Air New Zealand flight that arrived on Wednesday 27 October, 2021.

There were 215 passengers on the flight from the South Island of New Zealand. They are all in quarantine at the Tanoa Quarantine Facility and Makeke Quarantine Facility. The case is currently at Tanoa Quarantine Facility. Their COVID-19 tests were completed on Day 2, which was Thursday and this is according to the Quarantine Standard Operating Procedures.

The results of the first COVID-19 test was completed today and the test result for one of the passengers has returned positive for the virus (that causes COVID-19). The case is in a satisfactory condition and is asymptomatic.

The Ministry of Health is ready to care for this case and the rest of the passengers as well as the frontliners in quarantine.

Only a third of Tonga’s population has been fully vaccinated. But national immunization coordinator Afu Tei said that thousands had been turning up at vaccination centres to receive their jabs.

The prime minister asked the public not to panic, In addition, he asked the public not to disseminate information that is untrue and misleading as this will affect the trust and support needed for this important work.

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“We have conveyed this information to His Majesty and it is his wish for Government to ensure those attending public gatherings are vaccinated. We will need to ensure only those who are vaccinated will be allowed to attend such gatherings. The night time curfews will be strengthened because COVID-19 is now in Tonga and we need to take heed of the directions from the professionals and doctors from the Ministry of Health, he noted.

“We have just had a Cabinet meeting and a decision will likely be made on Monday to announce clear directions in terms of whether there will be a lockdown but until Monday, I ask for the people of this nation to prepare in case of a lockdown.”




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