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Next repatriation flight from NZ remains uncertain

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 17/08/2020

The Health Director has confirmed that the next repatriation flight from New Zealand is still uncertain.

Speaking to Radio Tonga news this morning, Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola says, the next repatriation flight from New Zealand was set for next week, however with the latest cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, the government is still considering whether it’s safe to continue returning the Tongan people.

“We are going to confirm that towards the middle of the week where the National Emergency Management Committee and the COVID-19 Taskforce will make a decision but at the moment, we’re just waiting for the situation in New Zealand to unfold. Of course, as we’ve all heard, the Alert Level will remain at Level 3 for Auckland, up until the 26th of August so I think our decision towards the middle of the week will reflect that situation.”

Dr ‘Akau’ola also urges public to be more cautious with what they share on social media, after a post on FACEBOOK went viral saying there is currently a suspected case of COVID-19 at one of the quarantine facilities.

“There has been issues with social media broadcasting false rumours and false allegations. We try to discourage people from spreading these unhelpful news – it definitely is not helping people – we urge people to provide news that come from credible sources for example, the Ministry of Health. Similarly, for us in the Ministry of Health, we always try to get health news related to COVID-19 from reliable sources like the World Health Organization. I guess one of the problem with people receiving the wrong information – maybe we should have broadcasted more COVID-19-related news so we will look into that.”

Meanwhile, the 150 passengers currently kept in quarantine are all in satisfactory condition at the moment with their final COVID-19 tests carried out tomorrow.

© Radio and Television Tonga News