Tonga patient tests negative in second round of covid-19 testing

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Tonga’s Dr Siale 'Akauola
Chief executive of Tonga’s Ministry of Health Dr Siale 'Akau'ola ... another test was expected tomorrow for the patient. Image: Kaniva Tonga/Christine Rovoi/RNZ Pacific

By Kalino Latu in Auckland

A person who tested positive for covid-19 in Tonga has now tested negative, says the Ministry of Health CEO.

Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola said another test was expected tomorrow for the patient.

He said yesterday the covid-positive person, who arrived in Tonga from Christchurch, would continue to stay in the MIQ until his 21-day quarantine was over.

Dr ‘Akau’ola, who joined the Prime Minister and a team of government officials in a press conference in Nuku’alofa, said he was advised on Monday that the person had provided a second negative test.

Dr ‘Akau’ola reiterated during the conference that the sample from the patient was tested on Thursday, October 28 and Friday, October 29. He referred to the positive result as “weak positive”.

The Tonga case came after a weak positive case tested negative on the second test in New Zealand.

Last month, a covid-positive person who travelled to Katikati from Auckland, tested negative on their second test.

“The person had a high CT value, indicating a weak positive result, and was tested again following their initial positive result last week”, Stuff reported.

Tested on three machines
‘Akau’ola said the person’s sample was tested on all three of the Health Ministry’s covid-19 testing machines on October 28.

He also repeated what he had said in the previous conference on Friday that the weak virus could be a historical virus or a “baby virus” which tried to grow, but was stopped by the antibiotic because the patient was fully vaccinated.

“The nature of the virus is shedding and it can be negative or positive at various times and this is why we have the 21-day quarantine rule.”

All the people on the flight from Christchurch were required to have negative covid tests prior to departure.

New Zealand’s Ministry of Health said the positive case was fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, and had their second dose on October 15.

Tonga’s main island Tongatapu is currently on lockdown for one week until Monday, November 8.

Kalino Latu is editor of Kaniva Tonga. Republished with permission.

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