Ministry “highly concerned” about virus entering Tonga, but Islands infection-free so far

The Ministry of Health says there is a likelihood an outbreak of the coronavirus in Tonga would kill many people and severely hurt the economy.

In its latest travel advisory, the Ministry said it was highly concerned about the disease getting into Tonga.

However, so far there have  been no confirmed cases in any Pacific Island nation.

Meanwhile, officials have confirmed our report that a passenger on a flight from New Zealand was denied entry to Fua’amotu Airport last Thursday.

Last Thursday Kaniva News broke the story that a Chinese passenger was sent back to New Zealand after failing to comply with the kingdom’s health regulations regarding the coronavirus.

Under the new laws, any passenger coming from or passing through China must spend 14 days at the last port of entry. The traveler failed to meet this requirement.

“The Ministry of Health wishes to send out a clear message that international travelers intending to travel to the Kingdom are required to comply with strict precautionary measures that are in place to safeguard the Kingdom from the novel coronavirus global epidemic,” a Ministry spokesman said.

The Ministry said all international flights and shipping will have to use Tongatapu as their port of entry to the kingdom.

Passengers and crew will undergo screening before proceeding to the outer islands.

The Ministry has also called for people thinking of travelling to China or any infected country to postpone their travel.

Masters of vessels are required to report any sick persons to the health authorities.

Deaths

According to the BBC, more than 68,000 people have been infected in China, with the number of deaths standing at 1665.

Outside China there have been more than 500 cases in nearly 30 countries.

Meanwhile, an economist at the prestigious Harvard Business School has predicted that the coronavirus outbreak will hurt the world’s economy as Chinse factories remain closed, workers remain unable to go back to work and tourists top travelling.

The main points

  • The Ministry of Health says there is a likelihood an outbreak of the coronavirus in Tonga would kill many people and severely hurt the economy.
  • In its latest travel advisory, the Ministry said it was highly concerned about the disease getting into Tonga.

For more information

Chinese passenger allegedly refused entry at Fua‘amotu international airport over coronavirus fears: source

Coronavirus likely to infect the global economy

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