Tonga will shut down on Wednesday after recording its first community transmission of the coronavirus, weeks after being defeated by a The volcanic eruption and the next tsunami. The eruption covered buildings in ash, flooding the island, cutting off digital communications and spurring an international humanitarian aid effort.
Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni announced that two workers who were helping distribute aid shipments at the Tongan wharf had tested positive for the virus. The outbreak comes despite efforts by countries and aid groups to deliver relief goods without direct contact with the island nation, which has so far been largely free of the coronavirus. .
Two positive cases were detected in the capital Nuku’alofa, during routine checks of frontline dock workers, local media reported. The workers are asymptomatic and are being isolated.
Sovaleni said at a news conference on Tuesday night that authorities were in the process of determining which ship the source of the infection was.
“We are studying it, and we have records of ships that were here at a time that may have spread this virus. We are looking at offloaded cargo,” he said, according to local newspaper Matangi Tonga.
It is not clear at this time whether the new incidents are related to the Australian Navy ship HMAS Adelaide, has been stuck at Nuku’alofa since last week because of a power outage. Australian Government speak 23 crew members have tested positive for coronavirus and are under quarantine. A UN spokesman said the ship had docked to deliver relief supplies and that its cargo was being unloaded by machinery.
Authorities announced that Tonga will be closed from 6pm on Wednesday, with schools closed, mass gatherings banned and travel within Tonga’s 169 islands banned. Officials said they hope the network lockdown, which will be reviewed every two days, will halt transmissions between the capital and the other islands.
The shutdown is another blow to a country still recovering from the devastating effects of the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano on January 15, which triggered tsunami waves as high as 50 feet attack several islands. The eruption damaged the country’s only fiber optic cable. Many residents are still without internet, as repairs are expected to take weeks.
Tonga previously reported a coronavirus case that emerged in quarantine in October 2021. The country requires incoming travelers to be quarantined for 21 days, and about 60% of the population has received two doses of the vaccine. please Covid.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/01/world/asia/tonga-lockdown.html Tonga goes into lockdown after 2 cases of crowding in Wharf