Tonga remains virus free as latest suspects test negative and aircraft ban comes into effect

    'Oku kei hao pe 'a Tonga he'ene a'u mai ki he 'aho ni' mei ha puke 'I he Koviti-19 pea ko e hili ia hono fakaha kuo kakato e ngaue kia kinautolu kotoa ne fakamavahe'i 'a ia ko e toko 400.

    The latest group of five people to be quarantined on suspicion of having Covid-19 had been cleared and released.

    The Minister of Health, Associate Professor ‘Amelia Tu’ipulotu, told a press conference this morning this meant Tonga remained Covid-19 free.

    She said 400 passengers traveled from Fiji and New Zealand between March 19 – 21 at a time when passengers from these countries did not have to be isolated once they arrived in Tonga.

    These people were later traced and checked by the Ministry to make sure they did not have the Covid-19’s symptoms.

    The last report from the Ministry showed 400 people had been checked and 396 people were not sick.

    The Ministry of Health has launched an official Facebook page with information about the virus translated into Tongan.

    Aircraft

    The  Ministry of Health has ordered a number of regular air services to be diverted from the kingdom.

    The order applies to Fiji Airways  flight FJ211 scheduled to arrive between April 5-18.

    Air New Zealand flight NZ270 scheduled for the same period is also affected by the order.

    A diversion order has also been placed on Talofa Airlines flight TA407 for the same period.

    Chief Executive Officer for Health, Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola, said the flights had to be diverted to stop the introduction, or spread, of the coronavirus disease.

    WHO

    Meanwhile, the head of the World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus has warned that If countries rush to lift restrictions too quickly the virus could return.

    This would make the economic impact even more serious and longer lasting.

    “Financing the health response is therefore an essential investment not just in saving lives but in the longer-term social and economic recovery,” Dr Ghebreyesus said.

    “We we call on all countries to remove financial barriers to care.

    “If people delay or forgo care because they can’t afford it they not only harm themselves, they make the pandemic harder to control and put society at risk.

    “Several countries are suspending user fees and providing free testing and care for COVID-19 regardless of a person’s insurance, citizenship or residence status.”

    The main points

    The latest group of five people to be quarantined on suspicion of having Covid-19 had been cleared and released.

    This meant Tonga remained Covid-19 free.

    For more information

    COVID-19 virtual press conference – 3 April, 2020

    https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/documents/covid-19-virtual-press-conference-transcript-3-april-2020.pdf?sfvrsn=43e2f2f3_6

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