NUKU’ALOFA, 28 FEBRUARY 2022 (TONGA WIRES) — Sixty-eight new COVID-19 cases were recorded in Tonga since the last report on 23 February, including 42 in Hu‘atolitoli Prison, one in Vava‘u, and 25 in Tongatapu, the Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni told a press conference on Friday.
The Prime Minister’s Office stated that, “a total of 177 recoveries recorded with 178 active cases now monitored by the Ministry of Health.”
According to government reports, the total number of COVID-19 cases this year is 355. One case was recorded earlier in October 2021, bringing the national total to 356 cases reported.
The previous six cases reported in Vava’u have been discharged.
Minister for Health Saia Piukala said another 188 people who were unvaccinated were inoculated with their first dose of COVID-19. This brings the total of unvaccinated people to 279.
The Minister said 99 percent of the target population of 76,911 had now received their first dose.
Around 32 percent of the target population have also received their booster shots.
Lockdown restrictions have been eased further starting Monday, 28 February.
PM Sovalaeni said the nighttime curfew hours have been reduced and will be in force from 8pm to 5am.
Tertiary schools can also start operating this week. Their vaccination rate is very good.
“Home school will continue for high school and primary school students.”
The Prime Minister said schools would gradually return to the classrooms.
“Although, the number of positive cases has reduced, we need to be cautious in allowing schools to gradually return.”
He urged tertiary students to abide by the COVID-19 protocols.
“Common practice for us now is social distancing, washing hands, and wearing masks.”
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister also announced the next lot of repatriation flights are scheduled to arrive on 08 March.
These flights will be from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and possibly Samoa….PACNEWS