10pm Tuesday 01 February 2022, Kingdom of Tonga. As Tonga struggles to recover from a volcanic eruption and tsunami, two community cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed on Tuesday night.
Tonga Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni said in a press statement the cases were found at the Queen Sālote wharf after 50 people were tested as part of routine surveillance to monitor Tonga’s frontliners.
The Kingdom is to go into lockdown from 6pm on Wednesday night (Tuesday in Tonga) including the Niua island group, due to close contacts reported to have traveled to outer islands.
Local media Kaniva Tonga reports Tonga’s Health Minister Saia Piukala said the cases could have been positive last week but a date was not given.
“Their families have been isolated and contact tracing has begun”.
Australia and New Zealand are fast tracking booster shots to Tonga with 10,000 coming immediately from Australia. Tonga has been untouched by Covid-19 to date, recording its first and only case in November – a repatriated citizen who remained in isolation with no contact with the community.
Eighty five percent of Tonga’s eligible population are fully vaccinated.