Tonga has reported 31 new COVID-19 positive cases Thursday, one of them in Vava’u, as authorities try to slow the outbreak with a continuing lockdown.

Two new suburbs of Nuku’alofa, named as Mataika and Kolomotu’a have one case each.

All of adults who tested positive were vaccinated. There are also children testing positive but the age and genders of the new cases was undisclosed.

All were reported to have mild symptoms so far.

The Minister of Health Dr Saia Piukala said that five tests had been sent to Australia and confirmed that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is spreading in Tonga.

The 30 new cases in Tongatapu are related to the same clusters that were reported Wednesday, with the hotspots Sopu Halaano, Vaini, Pili and Fasi. Earlier clusters were detected in Matahau after the virus spread from port workers. The Vava’u case reported today is under investigation.

There is a total of 65 covid cases now confirmed in Tonga.

Redzone hotspots remain under strict lockdown orders.

Today Health authorities asked families to stay put in their own homes.

Meanwhile, the Tongan Government has clarified a misunderstanding related to the recall of food items that were part of China’s emergency relief supplies.

The Government is of expressed profound regret over the said incident and has taken immediate steps
to address the misunderstanding.

The Government of Tonga remained deeply grateful to China for its timely and generous assistance to the people of Tonga following the eruption of the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga -Ha’apai volcano.

China was one of the first development partners to respond to Tonga’s urgent request for assistance.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to work with the Embassy of China in Tonga in ensuring that its strong bilateral relationship continues to be nurtured during these challenging times.