THE Hon. Health Minister Saia Piukala has announced that three recent deaths were all Covid related.

Hon. Piukala made the confirmation during a Press Conference with the PM yesterday.

The victims includes an 88-year-old elderly who was not vaccinated. Others are two males in their 40s, one suffered from a terminal cancer illness while the other one with underlying medical conditions.

CEO of Health Dr. Siale ‘Akau’ola said “they all have the symptoms of Covid, and the cause of death is Covid related. Covid has prompted their deaths.”

Meanwhile the Hon. Health Minister pointed out there is only one variant of Covid in Tonga and that is Omicron. He said there were specimen sent to New Zealand from the 40 positive cases at Tanoa MIQ, of repatriation passengers from New Zealand and Australia.

He firmly believes the specimen sent to New Zealand on Tuesday will be Omicron since this variant type is predominantly in Fiji, Australia, and New Zealand.

Meanwhile there are more than 130 health officials have been infected with the coronavirus. Of that 88, 46 are frontliners. According to Chief Medical Officer of Public Health Dr Reynold ‘Ofanoa, the number will continue to increase, as officials are in isolation and quarantine at home.

He said they have the symptoms of Covid which includes coughing, fever, and headaches.

Due to the shortage of staff, Dr. ‘Ofanoa urged the public to adhere to the Covid rules by wearing facial mask, important to frequently wash hands and avoid being in a crowded place as this is key to minimizing the transmission of Covid.

At the same time, the booster vaccination will continue next week upon the arrival of the booster shots from New Zealand.

More than 70,000 people of Tonga have been Covid tested by using RATs and PCR tests.

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