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Tonga reports first case of coronavirus

Tonga has its first case of coronavirus.

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A fully vaccinated person who arrived on a repatriation flight from New Zealand had the infection, the BBC reported Saturday.

As a result, residents on the main island of Tongatapu face a possible lockdown next week, Prime Minister Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa announced.

Tonga was one of the last countries not to have reported Covid infections. Only a third of its population has been fully vaccinated.

More than 100,000 people live on the island nation, located north-west of New Zealand.

Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa, Prime Minister of Tonga, said residents on the main island of Tongatapu face a possible lockdown next week.
UN Web TV via AP

The infected individual was among 215 people on a repatriation flight from Christchurch, New Zealand. Others onboard included members of Tonga’s Olympic team, who had been stranded in the city since the Tokyo Olympics.

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The individual had tested negative before leaving the country, New Zealand’s health ministry said. The infection was detected after a routine test Thursday, while passengers from the flight were quarantined.

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