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Health officials concerned with suspected case of coronavirus in Ha’apai

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 24/03/2020

The ministry of Health is yet to receive the result of the 6th suspected case tested for coronavirus, but in the meantime they are addressing another suspected case reported from Ha’apai.

During the PM’s coronavirus press conference yesterday, the Health Director – Dr. Siale ‘Akauola said the ministry were looking at a suspected case from Ha’apai at the moment, with a team being sent to the island to follow up and monitor the suspected case.

The Director says the suspect is a woman who recently arrived from overseas and she developed a flu, but they believe the chances that she is coronavirus positive is very little but they are working together with the Ha’apai governor – advising authorities to ensure the woman is isolated and does not go out in public until cleared by health officials.

One of the issues that was raised during the press conference was how the ministry of healthy now plans to test for coronavirus with the borders being closed. Dr. ‘Akauola responded saying they were working on obtaining equipment that would allow them to test for coronavirus here in Tonga instead of sending it abroad, and that although the borders are closed they can arrange for a special flight to have this critical equipment in the country without waiting for the end of the 2 weeks’ lockdown.

Meanwhile the Health minister also praised the assistance they received from the many civil servants who volunteered to assist the ministry of health in their operations which Dr. ‘Amelia Tu’ipulotu says has been extremely helpful for the ministry and the health teams working to follow up with the 113 individuals advised by the ministry to self-isolate at home.

© Radio and Television Tonga News