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Taskforce undertake first COVID-19 repatriation drill

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 16/06/2020

The first COVID-19 repatriation drill was conducted this morning in preparation for opening of the borders. The purpose of the drill is to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 and also strengthen COVID-19 preparedness and response before the arrival of Tongans stranded overseas.

The program began with educating the passengers once they arrived at the airport which was conducted this morning by the Security Manager of the Tonga Airports Limited – Sosefo Ngungutau along with the Chief Health Inspector of the Public Division of the Ministry of Health – Sr. Sela Fa’u.

Participating in the drill were 50 student nurses who demonstrated the first 50 passengers that would be first repatriated into the country, once the borders will be opened.

The educating of the passengers included an emphasis on maintaining social distancing where they will be screened and tested for COVID-19 before they arrive at the Immigration Division of the Ministry of Customs to get their passports checked, from there to the luggage area to pick up their bags where staff of the Ministry of Customs will screen their luggage.

Once their luggage is done being screened, the passengers will then leave in buses prepared by the government to take them to the Tanoa hotel where they will be quarantined for 14 days.

Dr. Reynold ‘Ofanoa from the Ministry of Health says, only 10 of the passengers will be allowed in one bus where they will be escorted by the Police all the way from the airport to the Tanoa hotel for their quarantine period.

A similar drill program will be carried out close to the time of the opening of the borders.

Attending this morning’s program was Hon. Fatafehi ‘o Lapaha Filipe, Health Minister, MEIDECC Minister, Minister for Internal Affairs and many invited guests.

© Radio and Television Tonga News

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