Tonga reports its first-ever COVID-19 case, PM urges people to prepare for potential lockdown

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Oct 29, 2021, 11:53 PM(IST)

The B.1.1.529 variant which has 32 spike mutations in the spike protein has 10 cases in three countries Photograph:( Others )

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Tongan PM has urged people to use the weekend to prepare for a potential lockdown next week, local media reported

Tonga's Prime Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa, in a radio address, confirmed that the first case of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19), has been reported in the island nation since the pandemic began last year. 

As per the local media reports, a traveller from New Zealand has been tested positive. The infected person was among 215 passengers who arrived from the city of Christchurch. The news was confirmed on Friday and the media reports stated that the infected person is currently in a MIQ facility in Tonga. 

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Tongan PM has urged people to use the weekend to prepare for a potential lockdown next week, local media reported. 

"The reason the lockdown won't happen this weekend is because I have been advised that the virus will take more than three days to develop in someone who catches it before they become contagious. We should use this time to get ready in case more people are confirmed they have the virus," he said.

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On the other hand, New Zealand's Ministry of Health stated: "The case returned a negative pre-departure test before leaving New Zealand. They are fully vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine and had their second dose on 15 October."

"They were tested in routine Day 0 testing yesterday and returned a positive result today. The Ministry, along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is working with officials in Tonga to confirm the case. There will be further updates on this tomorrow," the statement added. 

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