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Health Ministry raises alert level

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 4/03/2020

The ministry of Health has raised the country alert level from “high” to “very high” in compliance with the WHO Risk Assessment at Global Level as the ministry is highly concerned about the risk of importation of this infection into Tonga.

Yesterday the ministry issued Travel Advisory No. 4 for travelers arriving in or intending to travel to Tonga.

The travel advisory again emphasizes the need for all travelers to complete the Travelers Arrival Health Declaration Card, and also requires travelers originating from or transiting through China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taipei, Italy, Iran, Daegu Province and Cheongdo County (Republic of Korea) to spend at least 14 days self-quarantine in another country and get medical clearance prior to departure for Tonga.

It also added that all international cruise ships scheduled to arrive in Tonga in the next month, shall be diverted from Tonga.

The ministry states in the travel advisory issued that to date, no confirmed cases have been reported in the Pacific Island Countries. The closest case recorded are 2 confirmed cases in New Zealand.

And just to reiterate, the ministry confirms there are no coronavirus cases in Tonga, as there has been a lot of false information being spread on social media including claims that there is a suspected case at Vaiola Hospital. However, this was denied from the health ministry clarifying that what was conducted at Vaiola Hospital was a mock exercise as part of their preparation for the event of a coronavirus case arriving on our shores, but there has not been any cases in Tonga.

© Radio and Television Tonga News