Tonga faces lockdown after first COVID case is detected

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Prime Minister Pohiva Tuionetoa says South Pacific nation of 106,000 individuals could possibly be locked down subsequent week if an infection spreads.

Tongan Prime Minister Pohiva Tuionetoa warned on Saturday that residents on the nation’s primary island Tongatapu confronted a doable lockdown subsequent week after recording its first case of COVID-19.

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The tiny Pacific kingdom had been amongst solely a handful of nations to flee the virus thus far, and the an infection was detected in an individual in managed isolation after returning to Tonga on a repatriation flight from New Zealand.

“The reason the lockdown won’t happen this weekend is because I have been advised that the virus will take more than three days to develop in someone who catches it before they become contagious,” Tuionetoa mentioned.

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“We should use this time to get ready in case more people are confirmed they have the virus.”

Most of Tonga’s inhabitants of 106,000 dwell on Tongatapu, and fewer than a 3rd have been totally vaccinated towards COVID-19.

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Health officers mentioned the one that examined constructive had obtained their second jab in mid-October.

The repatriation flight included members of Tonga’s Olympic workforce who had been stranded in Christchurch for the reason that Tokyo Games. The athletes had been totally vaccinated earlier than they departed for the Olympics.

New Zealand’s well being ministry confirmed the contaminated individual had examined destructive earlier than the flight left Christchurch, the place there are solely 4 identified instances of COVID, all of them in the identical family.


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