Tonga enters Covid-19 confinement amid tsunami recovery

Sydney, Australia, Feb 2 (EFE).- Tonga will enter confinement Wednesday night after detecting two Covid-19 community cases amid a recovery campaign after a tsunami struck in mid-January following the eruption of a volcano that devastated the island nation.

The country, made up of 169 islands and some 105,000 inhabitants, remained free of Covid-19 and implemented a “contactless” system to receive humanitarian aid to continue avoiding the virus after the natural disaster, which killed three people.

Despite efforts, authorities confirmed two infections between two port workers linked to the distribution of aid, the first since Tonga detected the only Covid-19 case in a traveler from abroad in October 2021.

Tongan Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni, and Health Minister Saia Piukala announced the measure Tuesday night through a radio message.

Those infected have been transferred with their families to a military base where they will be under quarantine, Tongan House of Representatives President Fatafehi ​​Fakafanua told Radio New Zealand.

On Jan. 15, Tonga suffered the effects of a violent eruption of an underwater volcano, one of the most powerful on record, causing a tsunami with waves of up to 15 meters that devastated several islands in the country.

Eight four percent of Tonga’s population, cut off from the outside world for several days, was affected by the disaster.

After days of uncertainty, international aid, sent mainly by planes and ships from Australia and New Zealand, arrived and reconstruction operations began.

According to scientific data gathering organization Our World in Data, 61 percent of Tonga’s population has been fully vaccinated. EFE


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