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Results of 6th suspected coronavirus case test result yet to be determined

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 25/03/2020

Flight delays in New Zealand have delayed the specimen sent from Tonga of the 6th suspected case of coronavirus, from reaching the lab to be tested.

This morning the Health Minister – Dr. ‘Amelia Tu’ipulotu said they were working closely with New Zealand to try and get the sample from Auckland to the lab in Wellington so that the test can determine whether it is positive for coronavirus or not.

The minister says she has been in contact with the New Zealand High Commissioner and are working together to ensure the specimen reaches the lab as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Dr. Tu’ipulotu also strongly advised the public to follow the ministry’s advice of social distancing, saying the best way to stay safe is to stay home. She emphasized that to lessen the chances to contract or spread the virus is to minimize physical contact with others and so only go out in public if absolutely needed.

The government has enforced a 2-week closure of borders, banning passenger planes and ships from arriving, in an attempt to stem the flow of incoming passengers from abroad and although this has affected many travel plans, the government has received high praise for this move as many believe this can help protect the country from the importation of the virus.

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