CEO of the Ministry of Health Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola said today the Ministry’s testing systems didn’t lie.
Dr ‘Akau’ola was rejecting rumours on social media that the Ministry was lying about the existence of a positive case from last Thursday’s repatriation flight from Christchurch.
His response came after Kaniva sent him an audio file which has been widely shared on Facebook. The file purports to be the voice of the Tongan patient being quarantined saying his test was negative. The man in the audio file says that he was one of a group of Mormon church missionaries who tested positive.
There is no evidence the audio is genuine and people have argued it was important to trust the Ministry and the health professionals who were educated and trained to do the job. However, the audio file has also sparked outrage online with critics taking it seriously. They accused the government of lying.
Dr ‘Akau’ola told Kaniva News this morning the sample from the patient was tested on Thursday, October 28 and Friday, October 29. He referred to the positive result as “weak positive”.
He previously said the person’s sample was tested on all three of the Health’s COVID-19 testing machines on October 28.
In confirming the Vaiola hospital lap test positive results he said: “It was not lying”.
“It can be a historical virus or a baby virus which tried to grow, but was stopped by the antibiotic because the patient was fully vaccinated. The testing equipment cannot tell the difference between these two aspects of the virus,” Dr ‘Akau’ola said.
“The next test for the patient will tell whether it was a weak virus and it became negative and that test will be conducted on Wednesday or Thursday. If it is negative let’s be grateful because it shows the antibody managed to stop the virus from growing. Thanks New Zealand for vaccinating the person.
“The nature of the virus is shedding and it can be negative or positive at various times and this is why we have the 21-day quarantine rule.”
All the people on the flight from Christchurch were required to have negative Covid tests prior to departure.
New Zealand’s Ministry of Health said the positive case was fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine,and had their second dose on October 15.
Tonga’s main island Tongatapu is currently on lockdown for one week until next week Monday 8.