Tonga’s Covid response faulted as too slow, unprepared: Kalafi Moala

    The government’s handling of the Covid case has been criticised as too slow and this shows its preparations to handle a pandemic appeared to be insufficient.

    Kalafi Moala (L), PM Pōhiva Tu’ionetoa

    Tonga has announced its first ever case of Covid-19 on Friday last week and the Prime Minister has indicated a possible lockdown starting today Monday, November 1.

    The Prime Minister urged the public to get vaccinated and not to be panic during a press conference on Friday.

    The public has been waiting since last Friday and it is Monday about midday 11.30am now but still the government has yet to make any update.

    Tongan veteran journalist Kalafi Moala said the government appears to have failed in meeting the level of preparedness it promised the public if the Covid arrived in the kingdom.

    “There is no sign of preparedness for this despite the number of previous statements assuring the public there was a plan already in place if the virus will arrive here,” Moala said.

    Moala said the government needs to give people more certainty.

    “Now it is clear the accusation against the Prime Minister’s national fasting and prayer services were meant to promote a parliamentary election campaign for him and the Cabinet ministers.

    The Prime Minister said his fast and prayer services policy was to protect Tonga from Covid-19.

    “Now the virus is here in Tonga, but they still promote that campaigning policy”, Moala said.

    One of Tonga’s top journalists Dr Sione Vikilani said on Facebook this morning that information is important especially when there are significant national issues.

    “The information needed to be accurate and true and they have to be released on timely manners to the public so that the people of the country receive the same information at the same time from the government. The spreading of misinformation is growing because of the slowness in releasing the factual information (from authorities). What will happen is that the people could believe in whatever information they can get”, Vikilani wrote in Tongan.

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