NUKU’ALOFA, 12 AUGUST 2022 (TONGAN GOVT) — The Tongan government has confirmed today that COVID-19 active cases are now present in ‘Eua, Niuatoputapu and Niuafo’ou following the progressive opening of the country’s borders on 1 August 2022.

Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni confirmed this at a press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ conference room at the St George Building in Nuku’alofa.

“But the good news is there are no cases admitted at any Ministry of Health facility and there have been no serious cases reported.”

The Minister for Health, Dr Saia Piukala confirmed that there were new cases reported in the last week.

Dr Piukala also confirmed there were 31 new cases at the Hu’atolitoli Prison who are now in managed isolation at the prison.

He stated eight flights with 1,041 passengers have arrived in Tonga since 1 August.

Dr Piukala urged all Tongans to continue to follow COVID-19 health guidelines, including those who travel in from overseas.

“There is no change in the advice we are giving out and we just ask people to follow the guidelines that are being used. The borders are being opened so we can allow our people to return home or visit families but at the same time we ask that everyone follow the guidelines so that we are able to protect our people,” Dr Piukala added.

On education assistance, the Prime Minister, who is also Minister for Education, stated that Government’s laptop assistance for Forms 6 and 7 students will arrive this month.

“The i3 and i5 computers should be here this month and that will be given out according to the 50 percent funded by government and 50 percent by families,” said the PM.

“Those who are not able to assist will be able to access laptops from the lot of 382 laptops we have secured from New Zealand that are here now and being managed and distributed by the Ministry of Education.”

Farmers, a New Zealand company, had supplied the laptops, negotiated by New Zealand MP, Jenny Salesa…. PACNEWS

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