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Ban on large gatherings possible due to coronavirus outbreak

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 2/03/2020

The ban on large gatherings in place during the measles outbreak is about to be implemented again for protection from the coronavirus outbreak. This was announced by the health minister this morning during a press conference where she announced the government is looking to up its protective measures to ensure the safety of the country from the importation of the coronavirus.

The Health Minister – Dr. ‘Amelia Tu’ipulotu said some of the measures implemented during the measles outbreak may possible used again soon as protective measures from the spread of the coronavirus.

The minister said they were holding a coronavirus taskforce meeting to discuss the important issues surrounding coronavirus, and any further action by the government.

Meanwhile the Tongan athletes who were in self-isolation in the UK have completed their 14-day quarantine period and were cleared by doctor Faka’osi Pifeleti as free of the coronavirus, and the athletes were able to meet the Tongan community as well as spend time with some of their family in London.

‘Onetoto ‘Anisi from Internal Affairs, who traveled together with ‘Ilaisipa ‘Alipate from Foreign Affairs, to assist the teams in the UK, says many Tongans in London came out to visit the athletes and the Tongan High Commissioner to the UK – Hon. Fanetupouvava’u Tu’ivakano joined the athletes in a family prayer with the Tongan community who visited from Wales, also bringing food for the athletes.

‘Anisi says their next program was organised by the High Commissioner which is to take the sports teams out for a tour of London before they return home.

The sports teams will travel in 3 different groups with the first two groups leaving both going through Dubai and Auckland then arriving in Tonga on Thursday and Saturday this week. The third and final group will be traveling through Singapore and Nadi, and will arrive in Tonga next Monday.

On behalf of the sports teams and all involved in the care of the athletes in the UK, ‘Onetoto expressed appreciation for the kind assistance of all who had part to play in the evacuation of the athletes from China, their care in the UK, and now they are only days away from being back home, after spending almost 3 months away.

He also praised the High Commissioner and her leadership during the athletes stay under her care, as she had to delay the presentation of her credentials to the Grand Duke of Luxembourg in order to focus on sending the 51 strong sports team back home.

‘Anisi also expressed gratitude for the prayers, messages of encouragement, and well-wishes from the family and all the people here in Tonga.

© Radio and Television Tonga News