Tonga’s first covid case tests ‘weak positive’ again after negative

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Tonga Health CEO Siale ‘Akau’ola
Tongan Health Ministry CEO Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola ... a likely historical infection. Image: Kaniva Tonga

Kaniva Tonga

Tonga’s only suspected covid-19 case has tested positive when he took his third test today in Nuku’alofa.

The latest result came after the person was tested positive last week and tested negative on Monday this week.

The Health Ministry chief executive Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola said today the person had recorded a very weak positive result which likely reflected a historical infection.

He described the second positive result as “weaker than the first weak positive result”.

Dr ‘Akau’ola said the result showed what appeared to be a fragment of dead virus from old infections.

He said the ministry discussed the result with a team from the World Health Organisation (WHO) this morning.

He said there was a lot of “technicalities in the case”.

‘Not infectious’
“We believe the person is not infectious,” he said.

Dr ‘Akau’ola said the result meant there was no need to panic.

“It is not a new virus and the ministry is highly confident about it.

“The virus is shedding.”

He said the machines Tonga was using for the tests “are very sensitive”.

“Whenever they detected a fragment of a virus they will show it as positive”.

Dr ‘Akau’ola was speaking during a press conference this afternoon attended by the Prime Minister and a team of government officials.

The patient has been transferred to a special quarantine facility in Mu’a after he arrived at the kingdom from Christchurch last Wednesday on a flight carrying 215 people.

They had four contacts in New Zealand — all of whom returned negative tests.

Republished with permission.

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