Tonga enters lockdown after detecting new COVID-19 cases

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

The Prime Minister of Tonga Siaosi Sovaleni in 2017.
Image: ITU Pictures.

Yesterday, Tongan Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni announced the country would go under lockdown starting today. This comes after two COVID-19 cases were detected among the workers handling foreign aid in the capital Nuku'alofa.

According to officials, another three cases of coronavirus were detected among the family members of the port workers. The island nation was largely unaffected by COVID-19, having previously reported only one case of the virus.

Sovaleni said in an address the lockdown was necessary to "slow down and stop those who have been affected". He also terminated all boat and aircraft services between different islands to stop the spread of the virus.

The country was receiving foreign aid from different countries after being heavily affected from the recent Hunga Tonga volcanic eruption and tsunami. The Tongan authorities have stressed a strict "no-contact" policy for handling foreign aid.