The Tongan government has confirmed that health authorities have identified the kingdom’s first suspected case of coronavirus.
The suspect is a 21 year-old Tongan woman who flew into the kingdom from Sydney on Monday, the Minister of Health, Prof ‘Amelia Afuha’amango Tu’ipulotu told Kaniva News this evening.
The Minister said samples were being sent to New Zealand for testing.
The woman had flu-like symptoms in Australia, but her symptoms became worse when she got to Tongatapu. The woman went to Vaiola Hospital last week where she was diagnosed with pneumonia.
The Minister’s comments came after she and Prime Minister Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa held a press conference this afternoon in Nuku’alofa to brief media on the Covid-19 coronavirus response.
Ministry of Health CEO, Dr Siale ‘Akauola said World Health Organisation staff were in Tonga to train staff in handling the coronavirus. They were now treating the patient.
Ministry officials were tracing people she might have had contact with in Tonga.
Tonga has already introduced strict border controls and turned away visitors.
The government recently told three cruise ships not to dock after the virus broke out on another cruise liner, Diamond Princess, which was eventually quarantined in Japan.
The Ministry of Health has said an outbreak of coronavirus in Tonga was likely to cause a high death toll and have serious economic consequences.
On Tuesday the World Health Organisation warned of a global shortage of protective equipment to fight the disease.
The main points
- The Tongan government has confirmed that health authorities have identified the kingdom’s first suspected case of coronavirus.
- Tongan media reported this evening that the suspect is a 21 year-old Tongan woman who flew into the kingdom from Sydney on Monday.