Doctors, civil servants, RSE workers and patients priority on first flight from Auckland to Tonga

Medical staff, civil servants, RSE workers and Tongans who have been in New Zealand for medical treatment will be given priority on the first repatriation flight from Auckland on 4 August.

Health CEO Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola said passengers would include doctors, nurses, police, soldiers, public servants including one Government CEO, who all remain on the government pay roll.

They were  being given priority because they were  needed in Tonga to support the repatriation work.

Kaniva News reports seasonal workers who are experiencing social issues and stranded travelers would also be included.

Tongans with health problems who had been treated in New Zealand were also considered.

The Taliai military camp will house passengers from the New Zealand flight.

Dr ‘Akau’ola said the government’s priority was to keep Tonga free of COVID-19.

No transmission

This meant bringing people back from countries where there was no community transmission.

“We need our people to understand this,” he said.

He said there were Tongans being treated in India who needed to be returned, but this would  need to be looked at carefully.

“People who were brought back from India to Fiji were the ones with the virus, so it is an important area to look at,” he said.

Meanwhile, passengers from the first repatriation flight from Fiji are expected to end their quarantine on August 2.

About 2000 Tongans have registered online to be flown home.


Photo file