Tonga prepares for second NZ repatriation flight

The NEMC also discussed a few process concerns as members are now anticipated to bring the second repatriation flight from New Zealand later this month.

The Chairman of the NEMC, Poasi Tei acknowledged the NEMC members and staff for the hard work in bringing back the first 150 repatriated passengers from New Zealand on Tuesday.

“I would like to thank all of you for the work well done and your tireless support to bring back our first 150 passengers from NZ and also the safety of our people. Even though there were challenges but it all went well in the end.”

Queensland to close borders to NSW and ACT

It comes as the state recorded one new case of coronavirus overnight.

The 68-year-old Queensland woman was diagnosed with the virus in the past 24 hours and authorities are still investigating the source of the infection.

Two historic cases have also been added to the state's total of 1,088 cases.

The hotspot declaration means anyone travelling from NSW or the nation's capital will soon be banned from entering the Sunshine State.

Queenslanders who return after travelling there will be sent to mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days at their own expense.

Victoria posts record 725 new coronavirus cases, 15 deaths

There are 13,005 cumulative cases in Victoria, with 12 of the 15 deaths were associated with aged care.

The deaths were:

One male in his 30s

Three males and one female in their 70s

Three males, three females in their 80s

Three males, one female in their 90s

There are 538 people in hospital and 42 of those people are receiving intensive care.

There are 7227 total active cases and total active cases with a connection to aged care are some 1435.

Tonga extends COVID-19 State of Emergency to end of August

In March, the Government declared the novel coronavirus COVID-19 to be a public health emergency and declared a State of Emergency.

As cases continue to increase in countries close to Tonga, like Australia, the government said it is clear that COVID-19 is a continuous public health emergency in Tonga.  

The Kingdom of Tonga remains COVID-19 free.


Photo file Caption: Prime Minister Dr Pohiva Tu’ionetoa


ADB sees pandemic slashing 2020 global remittances by over US$100 billion

Money sent to Asia, where about a third of migrant workers worldwide come from, could fall by US$54.3 billion, or about a fifth of baseline remittances, the Manila-based lender said in the report released on Monday.

Remittances to Asia and the Pacific, which amounted to US$315 billion in 2019, help fuel the consumption-led growth for some of the region’s developing economies, including the Philippines.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to hit remittances hard in Asia and the Pacific,” the ADB report said.

Tonga conducts drill ahead of first COVID-19 repatriation flight from New Zealand

Chief Executive Officer for Health, Dr. Siale ‘Akau’ola said, the drill was aimed at filling in the gaps that were identified during process of the repatriation flight from Fiji, and to ensure that the logistical arrangements and coordination processes were also in place at Taliai Camp.

“This is our readiness to make sure Tonga will still be COVID-19 free. And as for our front-liners involved to be fully aware of their roles and responsibilities in terms of the arrival of the first COVID-19 repatriation flight from New Zealand.”

Melbourne to go into lockdown with another 671 cases announced

Premier Daniel Andrews said 671 new coronavirus cases had been detected since yesterday and seven more people had died.

Six of the deaths have a connection to aged care.

Andrews said there was an "unacceptably high" number of community transmission cases, and the state had 760 active "mystery" Covid-19 infections where the source of the transmission was not known.

"Those mysteries, that community transmission, is in many respects our biggest challenge and the reason why we need to move to a different set of rules," he said.

Suspected Covid-19 case in cruise ship in Tahiti

Last night, the 200 passengers on the Paul Gauguin were asked to stay in their cabins and the ship bound for Rangiroa returned to Tahiti.

Local media said all on board would need to be tested.

There has been no official statement about the situation.

Cruises resumed two weeks ago.

In mid-July, French Polynesia became the first destination in the South Pacific to accept travellers without imposing any quarantine.

Ex-US presidential candidate Herman Cain dies after refusing to wear mask

Cain, 74, learned of his diagnosis on June 29, nine days after attending a Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he and many others crowded together without wearing face masks aimed at preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

He spent most of July in an Atlanta-area hospital.

"Herman had an incredible career and was adored by everyone that ever met him, especially me. He was a very special man, an American Patriot, and great friend," Trump wrote on Twitter.

Jaguares let best players in Argentina go

The President of the Argentine Rugby Union, Marcelo Rodriguez, said the cancellation of the 2020 edition of Super Rugby and the subsequent loss of TV, sponsorship and ticket revenue, meant there was no way to keep their best players in Argentina.

"We had to be straight with the players so they know the situation, with the uncertainty and the huge impact in the southern hemisphere," he said.

The Jaguares had effectively operated as a shadow Argentina squad since joining Super Rugby in 2016 and last year finished runners-up to the Crusaders.