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Tonga reports first case of Coronavirus in a Passenger on a Plane

Today, Friday, the island nation of Tonga reported its first case of the Corona virus, after it was confirmed that a traveler arrived from New Zealand.

Tonga Prime Minister Bohiva Tuunitwa said in a radio address that the traveler was among the 215 passengers who arrived on a flight from the New Zealand city of Christchurch, yesterday, Wednesday, and were in isolation in a quarantine hotel.

On Monday, the Prime Minister intends to make an announcement of any future closures, according to the news website, Matangi Tonga.

Tonga (an island in Oceania) is among the few remaining countries in the world that have avoided an outbreak of the virus. Like many of its neighbours, Tonga’s isolation has helped keep it safe, but it faces major challenges if the virus spreads due to its under-resourced health system.

Fiji, which is also nearby, largely avoided an outbreak until April, when a “delta” variant of the coronavirus penetrated the island chain, infecting more than 50,000 people and killing at least 673.

Christchurch (New Zealand) had been virus-free for several months until this week, when 4 community cases were reported after a returning resident contracted the virus while in Auckland, where the outbreak has been increasing since August.

New Zealand health officials said the traveler to Tonga had been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine and re-tested negative before leaving for Tonga. Officials said they will work with their Tongan counterparts to confirm the case and provide more details in the coming days.

Source: AB

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