By DOREEN ASASIRA & AGENCIES
NUKU’ALOFA, TONGA -SHIFTMEDIA– Panic has rocked the world’s smallest nation Tonga after it reported its first case of COVID 19.
There is worry that the small island nation may be subjected to a lock down. The victim who was being repatriated from New Zealand was apparently fully vaccinated with Pfizer when he tested positive for corona.
Tonga’s Prime Minister said the index case is among 215 passengers who arrived on a flight from the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Wednesday.
According to the The Cable , the victim was moving with some Tonga’s Olympic team officials who got stuck in New Zealand on their way back from the Toyko Olympic Games in August. The athletes were double vaccinated before they left for the Olympics.
Health officials said the person who tested positive had received their second jab in mid-October.
New Zealand’s health ministry confirmed the infected person had tested negative before the flight left Christchurch, where there are only four known cases of COVID-19, all of them in the same household
They had been denied permission to enter Tonga for weeks after COVID-19 cases were detected in New Zealand.
According to local media, Matangi Tonga, the prime minister said the Tongan government will on Monday announce if the country will put restriction measures in place.
Tonga, an island nation with a population of fewer than 200,000, is among one the few countries in the world that have managed to keep the virus out of its shores.
About 31 percent of Tongans are fully vaccinated and 48 percent have had at least one dose.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a total of 84,506 vaccine doses have been administered in Tonga.