Covid-19 Delta Outbreak: Patient in Tonga moved to quarantine facility outside capital

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Covid-19 spreads further in Auckland plus breaking news of two additional unlinked cases in Northland and a positive case in Tonga that arrived on a flight from Christchurch. Video / NZ Herald


Tonga’s first positive Covid-19 case has been moved to a quarantine facility that has been set up in the Mu’a community clinic outside the capital, Nuku’alofa.

The man was returning to Tonga on a special relocation flight from Christchurch that landed in Nuku’alofa on Wednesday.

Speaking from Nuku’alofa, Dr Viliami Puloka, who’s been supporting the Covid-19 vaccine rollout there, said the quarantine facility in Mu’a village where the Covid-19 patient is now being cared for has been specially prepared, should there be any positive Covid-19 cases in Tonga.

“Mu’a village and the Covid-19 quarantine facility are well set up to isolate and care for positive Covid-19 patients,” Puloka said.

He said frontline workers who met the repatriation flight in Nuku’alofa have been in managed isolation with the 214 other passengers since Thursday at the Tanoa Hotel.

Puloka said there’s been some shock and a little panic after the passenger from New Zealand tested positive for Covid-19.

“There’s a bit of panic and people just don’t believe that it’s finally got here. I think more of them are disappointed that they say you know our record of being Covid-free is now spoiled rather than people are afraid that it can happen to them.

Learn about the factors determining and impacting the health of Pacific peoples in our new distance-taught postgrad paper ‘Introduction to Pacific Public Health’ @otago #Wellington taught by leading Pacific health practitioner Dr Viliami Puloka.

— UniofOtagoWellington (@OtagoWellington) July 30, 2020

High turnout for vaccinations after Covid-19 case confirmed

Thousands of people flocked to vaccination sites in Tonga on Friday night and Saturday following news of the Covid-19 positive case in a passenger who arrived in Tonga from Christchurch on October 27.

Tonga's Minister of Health, Dr 'Amelia Tu'ipulotu Photo / © Matangi Tonga
Tonga’s Minister of Health, Dr ‘Amelia Tu’ipulotu Photo / © Matangi Tonga

“Yesterday afternoon after the announcement of our one case, people were coming to the vaccination sites, so it was very exciting to see that,” the Minister of Health, Dr ‘Amelia Tu’ipulotu, told Matangi Tonga Saturday morning at the Queen Salote Memorial Hall vaccination site, that was packed with people.

She said the high turnout on Friday night and Saturday will boost the national coverage among the eligible population.

“More people are coming forward because now we have coverage of first dose of about 86 per cent and a second dose of about 62 per cent, so this is a major turnout today and will boost the overall coverage of first and fully vaccinated.”

“We are doing our best, as we have done in the past, and our team are fully committed at the front line to better protect the Kingdom,” she said.

The Minister of Health thanked New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for the donation of the Pfizer vaccines that arrived on October 20, which would protect the youth of Tonga and vulnerable pregnant women.

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