Ministry confirms three people quarantined; one released, two waiting for coronavirus tests

    The Ministry of Health CEO Siale ‘Akau’ola has confirmed that three people have been  quarantined at His Majesty’s Armed Forces camp at Fua’amotu.

    Dr ‘Akau’ola said the three people travelled through countries listed in Tonga’s Travel Advisory Number 4 and where coronavirus has spread.

    “They are fine,” he said.

    “Two of them had light illness including coughing and flu and were admitted to the isolation ward.”

    These two were labelled as suspected cases and the Ministry was tracing close contacts for quarantining of close contacts until their test results were received.

    Results were expected in four to five days.  The third case was treated and after reviewing his travel records it was found he traveled overseas last year and not within the last 14 days so he was discharged.

    Tonga has already had one suspected case. The patient tested negative.

    In related news the Public Service Commission has banned all travel by public servants.

    The PSA said the ban was intended to protect the people of Tonga from the coronavirus.

    Public servants currently overseas will be expected to obey travel restrictions issued by countries which are entry points to Tonga and the Tonga Ministry of Health.

    All US volunteers in Tonga are to return to the United States.

    Tongan Education Minister Siaosi Sovaleni said the Director of the US Peace Corps in Tonga told him a direction from the US had ordered the US volunteers to return.  

    Six cases

    According to Radio New Zealand there have been six cases of Covid-19 in the Pacific so far, three in French Polynesia and three in Guam.

    In Samoa, the government further tightened travel restrictions to keep out the coronavirus over the weekend.

    Travellers from 33 countries – including Australia, but not New Zealand –  have to spend at least two weeks in self-quarantine and provide coronavirus test results no more than five days old.

    RNZ said Pacific health officials have made no secret of their fears about the virus, and what it could do in isolated countries with limited health resources.

    Many have pointed to the devastation wrought by the measles epidemic in Samoa last year, in which 83 people –  most of them children under four – died.

    The main points

    • The Ministry of Health CEO Siale ‘Akau’ola has confirmed that three people have been  quarantined at His Majesty’s Armed Forces camp at Fua’amotu.
    • Dr ‘Akau’ola said the three people travelled through countries listed in Tonga’s Travel Advisory Number 4 and where coronavirus has spread.

    For more information

    Coronavirus: Pacific borders tighten further

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/411822/coronavirus-pacific-borders-tighten-further

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