Health CEO denies rumours Tonga A players came into contact with suspected coronavirus flight attendant on their return flight to kingdom

The Ministry of Health CEO Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola has denied reports Tonga A Rugby Union Team players may have come into contact with a flight attendant who was later suspected of showing signs of coronavirus.

It was alleged the Tongan team players were on their way back to the kingdom from Fiji on Monday 17 when the incident happened.

The allegations on social media have triggered concerns from many online users over the weekend.

In his reponse to Kaniva denying the allegations Dr ‘Akau’ola said in Tongan: “Oku ikai mooni e talanoa fekauaki moe kau akapulu naa nau heka he vakapuna nae ngaue ai ae tokotaha i Fisi nae puke he Covid 19.”

As Kaniva News reported earlier this morning, Tonga is now banning all travellers from outside the country in an unprecedented move to seal its borders amid the coronavirus crisis.

The announcement came after Prime Minister Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa said on Friday Tonga has closed its borders to everyone but citizens and residents in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus.

A Ministry of Health statement this morning shows all aircraft expected to arrive in Tonga today Monday 23 until Saturday 28 had been cancelled in a bit to prevent COVID-19 spreading to the kingdom.

Tonga has no confirmed case of coronavirus.

Last week PTOA Party Leader MP Semisi Sika called on government to close down its borders.

 “Lock down all our international ports Tonga,” Hon Sika wrote on Facebook last week.

His post received more than 500 reactions, more than 100 comments and 235 shares.

One if his supporters responded and said it was better to be safe than sorry.

However, some did not agree with Hon Sika.

“If you shut down the port how will the Tongan people get their petrol, toilet paper, sugar, flour, sipi, moa, soap, medicines and hospital equipment, building materials and etc?…” a commenter wrote.

When Prime Minister Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa announced on Friday Tonga was in a state of emergency over coronavirus pandemic he told reporters the government was raising the alert to another level.

The government previously said it was too early to make a decision to close down its border due to various reasons including shifting of pharmaceutical products from overseas.


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