COVID-19 response

American Samoa adapting to surging community spread

The chairman of the Covid 19 Task force, Lieutenant Governor Talauega Eleasalo Ale, says Covid is surging in the community and American Samoa must adjust to address the needs of the community.

"We need to move away from mass and indiscriminate lockdown policies and focus on adopting realistic and targetted policies to ensure that our people are able to live their lives safely while ensuring that life-saving services are accessible to our public," Talauega said.

ADB and New Zealand donations for Covid-hit Tonga

Tonga reported its first confirmed case last month and is experiencing localised community transmission of the Omicron variant.

The bank says its support, which will come from its Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund, will assist Tonga in meeting immediate response needs and deliver medical services where required.

Meanwhile, New Zealand will contribute US$4 million to support the improvement of water supply and sanitation for Tonga's most vulnerable households.

UAE sends medical aid to Pacific Island countries in fight against COVID-19

The countries include Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Cook Islands, and Niue.

Commenting on the delivery, Abdulla Al Subousi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the UAE to Australia, said, "Today’s aid shipment to Pacific island countries reflects the UAE’s continued efforts to support and stand by these countries to contain the spread of COVID-19 by providing critical medical supplies and protection to strengthen the efforts of healthcare personnel."

ADB provides $12.2 million assistance for Tonga's COVID-19 response

The grant, which is equivalent to $27.67 million Tonga pa’anga is from the ADB’s Asian Development Fund.

A state of emergency was declared in Tonga on 20 March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the public health emergency and closure of its borders have put pressure on Tonga’s health systems and the broader economy. The government has announced a 60 million pa’anga short-term assistance programme—the Economic and Social Stimulus Package—to combat COVID-19.

Tonga Government briefs development partners on response to TC Harold and coronavirus

According to the Public Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Reynold ‘Ofanoa, the Ministry of Health is awaiting other Covid-19 machines and testing kits from the United Kingdom.

He informed development partners that renovations to the Health Centre at Mu’a are expected to be completed this week.

Dr ‘Ofanoa was part of a team that briefed development partners on 17 April about the government’s response to COVID-19 and TC Harold.

Tonga welcomes ADB assistance for COVID-19 response

Tonga’s Minister for Finance, Tevita Lavemaau, said, “the prompt response by ADB is indeed timely as government had in place a small contingency provision for un-anticipated events but neither planned nor included in the budget resources to combat the scale of the negative impacts by COVID-19 on our small and vulnerable economy. The Ministry of Finance projected the negative impacts on the economy up to 7 percent in 2020 and higher in the financial year 2021. ”

ADB provides Tonga with $6 million for COVID-19 assistance

A state of emergency was declared in Tonga on 20 March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The public health emergency and closure of its borders have put pressure on Tonga’s health systems and the broader economy. The government has announced a 60 million pa’anga short-term assistance Programme to combat COVID-19. ADB’s assistance will support the upgrading of local health care facilities; fund logistics to lock down the country’s border; and provide relief for the elderly, the unemployed, and vulnerable businesses such as tourism, retail, agriculture, and transport.