Covid-19: following new cases, the Tonga islands extend their confinement by two weeks

International aid arrived in Nukuleka in the Tonga Islands on January 26, 2022 (illustrative image).

AP - CPL Robert Whitmore

Text by: RFI Follow

2 mins

In the Tonga Islands, the government decided to extend the confinement for two weeks after the discovery of new positive cases of Covid-19.

Positive cases which, according to the authorities, are linked to contact with goods transported by international aid following the volcanic eruption which affected the archipelago at the end of January.

But this confinement disrupts the distribution of food for the population.   

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With our correspondent in Wellington,

Richard Tindiller

It is a daily life that is becoming more and more difficult for the Tonga archipelago.

Anna Metui is from Nukuleka, one of

the villages hardest hit by this disaster

.

After the eruption, this young mother took refuge with her aunt after losing her house and all her belongings.

Since the announcement of confinement, it has seen the distribution of international aid greatly reduced.   

“ 

I don't know what's going on.

It's not just me of course, everyone in Tonga is affected.

But government aid is not enough for Tonga, especially when it comes to food

 ,” she said. 

On the government side, we assure that

this two-week confinement

is the necessary step.

For Lord Fakafanua, Speaker of the Parliament of the Tonga Islands, the archipelago must return to a zero level of contamination.

“ 

It's difficult because the Ministry of Health expects to see more positive cases in Tonga.

So these two weeks of confinement will allow the government to search for contact cases, to isolate and help people who will be positive for Covid-19.

We prepare for the worst but hope for the best 

,” he explains.   

These health restrictions are also delaying the disembarkation of international aid.

Like the

Tahiti Nui

, a ship from French Polynesia, which arrived last week and has still not been able to unload its 300 tonnes of food.   

►Also read: Volcano eruption in the Tonga Islands: fear of the Covid complicates the delivery of aid

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  • Tonga

  • Coronavirus

  • Health and medicine

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