This country just found its first Covid case. Now it’s preparing for a potential lockdown
The infected traveler arrived in Tonga on Wednesday having flown from Christchurch, according to New Zealand’s Health Ministry.
The passenger was fully vaccinated, had tested negative in New Zealand prior to the flight’s departure, and was discovered among travelers staying at a hotel used for managed isolation and quarantine for new arrivals into the country.
“We should use this time to get ready in case more people are confirmed they have the virus,” he reportedly said.
Following the news of the positive case, thousands of people rushed to vaccination centers to get their Covid shots, Matangi Tonga reported.
Tonga’s Minister of Health ‘Amelia Tuʻipulotu said the high turnout over the past few days will boost the nation’s vaccination coverage.
Tonga is a Polynesian country of more than 170 South Pacific islands and home to about 100,000 people. The archipelago lies about 800 kilometers (497 miles) east of Fiji and 2,380 kilometers (1,480 miles) from New Zealand.
Though it hasn’t reported a Covid case until now, the island nation declared a state of emergency in March 2020 and shut its borders to foreign nationals.