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Nuku’alofa – August 31, 2021: 1.30pm (Nuku’alofa Times): Tonga enters its 18 months of lockdown and restrictions this week as government announced the renewal of the Health State of Emergency to help protect Tonga from COVID-19.

This comes as Tonga is confirmed as one of the five countries around the world that has not reported any case of the virus.

The list includes North Korea, Turkmenistan, Tonga, Tuvalu and Nauru.

The SOE renewal will end on September 27, 2021.

It means that curfews will still be implemented from 12am to 5am every day for the next month. No international flights or cruise ships will be allowed into the Kingdom.

Only repatriation flights that are approved will be received here.

Cargo flights that have been approved will continue, but no passenger will be allowed on those flights.

Strict guidelines are also in place which restricts the offloading of personnel from the flights or arriving container ships arriving at the Queen Salote Wharf.

This comes at a time when the Ministry of Health is all out to vaccinate the people of Tonga.

Updates from the Health Media Office this week confirmed that 27,274 people have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

This means around 43 percent of the eligible population aged 18 years and over have received two doses of the Astra-Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine since the second roll out program started on June 24 in Nuku’alofa.

The goal is to vaccinate 63,128 people with two doses of AstraZeneca of the eligible population.

At least 55 percent of the target population has been fully vaccinated on Tongatapu, and 54 percent on ‘Eua.

No extreme allergic reaction has been reported to the Ministry of Health, despite claims my some so called experts that some locals have suffered from extreme reactions.

There are currently 1,476 people who are overdue for their second dose, which should have been administered within 12 weeks of the first dose. These people are on Tongatapu and ‘Eua.

More vaccines are scheduled to arrive in Tonga soon, including the Pfizer vaccines.

The Pfizer vaccines are to be administered to children aged 12 – 17 years-old, and pregnant women.

Health Chief Executive Officer Dr Siale Akauola said it is important for everyone who had received their first dose to get the second dose.

He said the vaccination is being done to help prepare Tonga for the future, especially if the borders were to open.

 

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