Sports trainees supervised by UK health professionals, says Tongan doctor as first two teams arrived in London

    A Tongan medical doctor in UK said teams of Tongan sports trainees in China started arriving in London today will be kept under the medical supervision of British health professionals.  

    Dr Faka’osi Pifeleti said on Facebook yesterday there were guideline and protocols to be followed.

    It is understood Dr Pifeleti was assisting the teams and the officials while they were in UK.  

    Two teams of twenty-six boxing and table tennis trainees were currently in London.  

    The rest of the trainees, who are 25 in total, were swimmers and weightlifters and are expected to arrive in London tomorrow February 18.

    The trainees together with sports officials will be quarantined for 14 days in London before they are expected to leave via Dubai and Auckland and will arrive in Tonga on March 5 and 7.

    The evacuation to London came after a request from the Tongan government to the Government of the United Kingdom.

    In its latest travel advisory, the kingdom’s Health 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.


    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.


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