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Stranded passengers in Fiji gets tested for COVID-19

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 10/07/2020

The passengers on board the first repatriation flight expected tomorrow are currently screened for COVID-19 in Fiji. The screening is being carried out at the University of the South Pacific campus in Nadi.

The Chairman of the ‘Api Tonga community who’s also the Director of the ICT Theatre at USP, Kisione Finau says, the tests are being carried out by the staff of Fiji’s COVID-19 taskforce.

The tests are freely carried out, fully funded by the government of Fiji.

Result of the tests are expected this evening or tomorrow morning.

Kisione says, if any of these tests come back positive, the school will shut down meaning USP will fully divert their courses online.

However, Finau urges public cooperation during this time as these passengers includes specialized nurses and doctors who will greatly assist the Health Ministry, to work as front liners during the repatriation period.

Meanwhile, the Health Director – Dr. Siale ‘Akau’ola during a press conference says, it is important for passengers and front liners to wear masks and protective gear to ensure the country’s safety from COVID-19.

There are 58 passengers expected to arrive tomorrow from Fiji. The flight was initially set to arrive in Tonga on Thursday however it was deferred to Saturday, as Fiji did not have a policy to screen passengers for COVID-19 upon departure. Two flights therefore are expected tomorrow including the chartered flight from the Solomon Islands.

However, the Tonga Chamber of Commerce is concerned for the first repatriation flight from Fiji tomorrow provided, that the systems in place may not be sufficient to ensure the full protection of people and businesses.

The recent incident in NZ where two women were prematurely released from isolation worries them as it could happen in Tonga if we are not careful.

© Radio and Television Tonga News