Traveler from New Zealand brings first COVID to Tonga

15:57, 05 November 2021
Traveler from New Zealand brings first COVID to Tonga Photo:

The main island of Tonga has entered a week-long lockdown phase after a traveler from New Zealand last Wednesday was tested positive for COVID-19 upon his arrival to the island. It was the first case of coronavirus reported from Tonga.

There were 214 passengers aboard the aircraft and none of them tested positive for COVID-19, except a young missionary who has been put in isolation. 

The infected individual is known to be fully vaccinated.

“So far, we are happy that nothing else has happened besides that one case,” Dr. Viliami Puloka said to NPR while being at home in Nuku’alofa, the capital of Tonga.

 The doctor said he presumed that somewhen coronavirus would reach the Tonga islands.

“I think in general, people do understand what is happening and it’s been expected that at some point, as long as this virus is anywhere, this virus is anywhere,” he said.

The lockdown has been lasting since Tuesday so all the educational institutes, eateries and bars are closed during the imposed measures. A curfew has also been set up on the Island of Tongatapu, the most populated area of Tonga. There people are only allowed to leave their homes to do all the necessary purchases like food, medicine and also to visit banks.

Earlier, the captain of England’s rugby team Owen Farrell has tested positive for COVID-19 and he will likely miss the first match for England within Autumn Internationals against the team from Tonga that is scheduled for November 5.