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Ministry of Health issues Health Travel Advisory for coronavirus

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 28/01/2020

The ministry of Health issued a Health Travel Advisory yesterday – to help reduce the risk of 2019-nCOV being introduced to Tonga. The advisory states all inbound travelers to Tonga must complete a Health Customs Form to assess potential signs and symptoms and exposure to 2019-nCOV, beginning yesterday Jan 27th.

The Health Director – Dr. Siale ‘Akauola says this is part of their efforts to prevent the virus from entering the country which was a decision made upon the advice of the World Health Organisation – WHO and they are submitting more proposals to the Cabinet.

However these are just precautionary measures in the even that someone with the virus arrives in Tonga, but the health director says this coronavirus is not as deadly as say the Ebola virus or swine flu along with others diseases that have spread in other countries.

Meanwhile the ministry is working on expanding their operations at the borders with a team to work at the airport at Vava’u – as well as other points of entry such as the wharves although these pose a lesser threat than at the Fua’amotu airport.

The health travel advisory issued by the ministry says individuals who may be identified as being exposed to the virus will be subject to public health measures to reduce the spread of the virus.

In this statement issued from the ministry – It strongly recommended that all persons intending to travel to China or other countries affected by 2019-nCOV, postpone their travel plans.

Dr. Siale ‘Akauola advised the public to maintain a hygienic lifestyle to protect themselves from contracting this virus if they are to travel abroad.

© Radio and Television Tonga News