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Omicron variant confirmed in Tonga as new Covid-19 cases rise sharply


Author : Indo Asian News Service

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Suva, Feb 10 (IANS) Tonga confirmed on Thursday the spread of Omicron variant in the South Pacific island nation as 31 new Covid-19 cases were reported on Thursday, bringing the total number of active cases in the country to 64.

According to Tonga's news website Matangi Tonga Online, Tonga's Minister of Health Saia Piukala said at a press conference on Thursday morning that the five tests sent to Australia confirmed that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is spreading in Tonga now.

He also confirmed that 30 new cases were reported in Tonga's main island of Tongatapu while one was discovered in Vava'u, an island group consisting of one large island ('Utu Vava'u) and 40 smaller ones, Xinhua news agency reported.

The confirmed cases include adults fully vaccinated and children. They are all having mild symptoms.

Currently, Tongatapu and Vava'u are under a 14-day Covid-19 lockdown, with shopping allowed on Tuesdays and Fridays.

The Health authorities in the island nation on Thursday urged Tongans in the lockdown area to stay at home.

Tonga, an island nation with a population of more than 100,000, has so far vaccinated 98 per cent with their first vaccine dose and 88 per cent with their second dose. More than 2,000 people have had their booster shots.



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