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COVID-19-free Tonga turned away a plane loaded with tsunami disaster aid after someone on board tested positive for the virus

Insider
Insider
 2022-01-21

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A C-130J Hercules aircraft bound for Tonga is loaded with humanitarian assistance and supplies at RAAF Base Amberley, Australia, Friday, Jan. 21, 2022.
  • Tonga turned away a plane carrying disaster aid from Australia after someone on board tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The tsunami-ravaged Pacific nation is one of the few countries completely free of COVID-19.
  • The aid supplies on board the plane were put on another flight that departed on Friday.

Tsunami-ravaged Tonga — among the few countries free of COVID-19 — turned away a plane carrying disaster aid from Australia after someone on board tested positive for the virus.

The plane was forced to reverse course mid-flight on Thursday due to a positive COVID-19 case on board the aircraft that was headed for the Pacific nation in the aftermath of Saturday's volcanic eruption and tsunami which devastated the country.

All crew members tested negative for the coronavirus after taking rapid antigen tests, but a PCR test came up positive for one crew member while the plane was en route, an Australian defense spokeswoman told Reuters .

Saturday's eruption of underwater volcano Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai caused the formation of a tsunami that crashed into the island.

Tongan officials have confirmed at least three deaths in connection with the disaster.

The aid supplies on board the plane were put on another flight that departed on Friday, according to the news outlet.

Since Tonga is COVID-19 free, it has required delivery of aid to the island nation of about 105,000 to be contactless in order to keep the coronavirus out.

The first aid flights with supplies and disaster relief from Australia and New Zealand arrived in the country on Thursday.

Meanwhile, a New Zealand navy ship hauling 250,000 liters of water and desalination equipment arrived in Tonga on Friday, according to Reuters.

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Comments / 64

MEATLOAF22
01-22

thats a good choice.. in all sens of realty if they don't have covid they won't get it !! they will manage in there own little world !!

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21
Paula Ann Carel
01-23

Well that's not a very smart thing to do! what, they think covid is going to jump off the wrapped crates and attack them? They could have had a rest period of 5-7 days and then opened things up. Hope they can manage themselves then...more power to them!

Reply(1)
8
JWB
01-23

Humanity at its best.. thank you Australia 🇦🇺 and New Zealand 🇳🇿 can parachute 🪂 drops be performed to get more drinking water to the people 🤔

Reply
6

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