When the pandemic began, Tonga introduced a “zero-fall strategy” aimed at keeping the virus out of the country’s borders. Admission to the island kingdom requires special permission from the government and several weeks of quarantine.
But the strategy has now failed.
And on Friday, an infected person arrived on the island by plane from Christchurch in New Zealand. He was a young, full-fledged missionary who returned home after spending time in Australia. The person tested negative before leaving Christchurch, New Zealand’s health minister said. But according to authorities in Tonga, the person tested positive on Thursday, when he was in mandatory quarantine before returning home. BBC.
The person is said to have received the second dose of the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine in late mid-October, according to health authorities. Otago Daily News.
All 215 passengers on board, airport staff and medical personnel have been isolated. Also on board were members of the Tonga Olympic team, which has been stranded in Christchurch since the Tokyo Olympics.
The government submitted on Tuesday Seven-day closure on the main island of Tongatapu. Crowds are prohibited at the same time that people who are not engaged in socially significant activities are encouraged to stay at home, Watchman.
Before the shutdown, there were long queues for banks, businesses and Western Union’s international money transfer services.
There has also been a rush towards vaccinations. Many of those who only took one dose took a second dose. When the first coronavirus case was detected, just over a third of the island’s population of more than 100,000 had been vaccinated, and by Monday, the proportion had risen to 62 percent.
There is certainly a growing sense of the urgency of vaccination, says Tonga Health Minister Afuhamango Tuipuluto according to The Guardian.
Even before the government Deciding to shut down the community, many voluntarily chose to stay home and isolate themselves.
Tongabon Ofa Gutteinbeil Likiliki says she and her husband wanted their two daughters vaccinated as soon as possible rather than waiting for them to be vaccinated at school.
– We’ve also made the decision to immediately put ourselves on voluntary “closure,” she says according to The Guardian and continues:
I thought about my asthmatic son and I wanted him out of school as soon as possible and my daughters who were in school. By that time, only one of them had been vaccinated.
Ufa Gutenbiel Likilike is critical of the government and believes that it should have decided immediately to close the community.
– Especially given what we’ve seen happen in other countries, like Fiji and New Zealand.
Tongapun Ramanlal Vallabh isolated himself and his family at home immediately after the first case of Covid was discovered.
“I was worried because we had our first case of COVID-19 in Tonga and after seeing and witnessing what I had accomplished in places like Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and the United States,” he told the Guardian.
Soon after the first case As it became known, Prime Minister Tu’i’onetoa said he had advised against imposing an immediate lockdown, because “the virus takes more than three days for a person to develop before becoming contagious.”
“We must use this time to prepare if more people are confirmed to be infected with the virus,” he told the BBC.
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