Covid 19 Delta variant: Tonga confirms first case ever after flight from Christchurch

    A person has tested positive for Covid-19 in Tonga after arriving from Christchurch, New Zealand on Wednesday night, MEIDECC CEO  has just confirmed this to Kaniva News this afternoon.

    Prime Minister Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa. Photo/Kalino Lātū (Kaniva Tonga)

    When asked for confirmation CEO Paula Ma’u said: “Correct, one positive and PM will be on air 4pm our time (about now) to announce details”.

    The confirmation has sparked concerns that the virus could have spread among the 215 passengers on board the flight who are now quarantined in Tongatapu.

    The revelation came after an e-mail seen by Kaniva News sent from a senior doctor at Vaiola hospital at 1.48pm today said:

    “We have 1 positive case”.

    The sender, who we chose not to reveal their identity at this stage,  also made the following proposals.

    “No one allowed to go up to wards without 2 vaccinations except it is the patient. All attendances should have the 2 vaccinations and only 1 attendance per patient.

    “Limit visits to only close family and 2 per visit. Need ID for visit up to ward.

    “Above should start as soon as we can inform the public say start Nov 1 which is Monday next week.

    This was the first case of Covid-19 in the kingdom and it is understood the patient was in one of the MIQs in Nuku’alofa.

    New Zealand cases

    The Tongan case was detected after two cases of Covid-19 reported in Christchurch yesterday Thursday 28. Both cases lived together in the suburb of Bishopdale.

    One of the cases had permission to go to Auckland to provide childcare and tested negative before returning to Christchurch.

    The second case is a truck driver who completed deliveries around the Christchurch area and some trips to North Canterbury.

    Both became unwell last week and were tested two days ago.

    They returned positive Covid tests on Wednesday night.

    Three households with nine close contacts have been identified.

    Tonga’s CEO of the Ministry of Communications (MEIDECC), Paula Ma’u earlier  said they had received the report of the Christchurch Covid-19 cases after the passengers arrived in Tonga.

    “The passengers were being processed according to the normal procedure at the quarantine facilities and tested for Covid-19″.

    The repatriated flight arrived with passengers including seasonal workers as well as some of Tonga’s Olympic team officials who got stuck in New Zealand after the Olympic Games.

    The last repatriation flight for the year is scheduled to arrive on November 23 according to a MEIDECC statement on October 26.



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