Navy ship with Covid-infected crew unloads aid to Tonga

An Australian navy ship with a Covid-infected crew has offloaded aid to Tonga.

According to officials, the largest ship of the Australian navy docked in Tonga today, January 26, and been allowed to offload humanitarian supplies to the South Pacific nation of Tonga – even though crew members have Covid.
Over 20 sailors on the HMAS Adelaide were reportedly Covid positive yesterday, fuelling fears that the mission could transmit Covid to the small archipelago devastated by an undersea volcanic eruption and a tsunami on January 15.
Tonga has only reported one case of Covid since the pandemic began and has avoided outbreaks, becoming one of the few countries in the world that is currently Covid-free.
According to Our World in Data, approximately 61 per cent of Tongans have been fully vaccinated.
The crew aboard the ship will deliver the supplies without coming into contact with the local population to avoid infections, according to the Australian government.
“We appreciate the decision of the government of Tonga to enable HMAS Adelaide to dock and offload the humanitarian and medical supplies, and the high priority it has placed on Covid safety throughout the recovery process,” the statement said.
“The ship is undertaking an entirely contactless delivery of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief supplies.”
Tonga usually requires visitors to isolate for three weeks on arrival and the pandemic complicates the response to the disaster and all international aid is reportedly being delivered without contact with local people.

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Written by

Laura Kemp

Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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