ADB approves US$18.9 million for rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the Pacific

The grants to Samoa (US$8 million), Tonga (US$5.5 million), Tuvalu (US$1.5 million), and Vanuatu (US$3.9 million) will support their COVID-19 vaccination programmes for a combined population of almost 600,000 people. The project is financed by ADB’s US$9 billion Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility launched in December 2020 to offer rapid and equitable vaccine-related support to ADB’s DMCs.

Government increases support for farmers in Tonga

The assistance is part of its sector initiatives to increase household income and national earnings as part of the Government COVID-19 economic recovery.

“The programme includes financial support for rural farmers who are part of the Government Cooperative Society Empowerment Program (FCSEP), helping farmers in Tongatapu, Vava‘u, Ha’apai and ‘Eua with access to finance that will fund agricultural inputs to increase production of marketable crops and increase our exports to improve family livelihoods” said Prime Minister Reverend Dr. Pohiva Tu‘i‘onetoa in a statement.

Over 5000 receive Covid-19 jab in Tonga

The daily vaccination average at the moment is 639 people per day.

This means 26% of the vaccination batch has been used with zero wastage reported

The Ministry has 5 teams of 14-16 staff and 3 small teams (2 for the mobile vaccinations and 1 stationed at Vaiola NCD centre)

A total of 150 staff are dedicated to the national vaccination rollout

So far 6,441 people have been registered for the vaccination and 1,349 pre-registered online prior to receiving their vaccination

According to the ministry, no extreme allergic reactions have been reported

Internet services restored in Tonga

This is despite Tonga’s Telecommunications Corporation wireless services that remained operational yesterday.

The outage affected their prepaid customers and the ADSL fixed line services. 

TCC staff said they were working on the problem and would work overnight to fix it.

Internet services were restored for some fixed line customers yesterday afternoon, and more today after staff manually reset the DNS configurations of customer routers.     

Tonga vaccination process gets thumbs up

The Ministry has issued a schedule which covers the main island of Tongatapu, through to May 8th.

The vaccination were launched on April 15th with Princess Salote Pilolevu Tuita became the first to be innoculated.

The front-liners, including those working in the quarantine services, nurses and doctors, police and military, were vaccinated in the first three days.

Others, who are regarded by the Ministry of Health as the vulnerable sector of Tongan society - those 45 years and older, are also on the priority list.

‘Eua prepares to bring Sport to Life

Fifteen volunteers attended the Sport to Life training for the 13-18-Year Just Play Programme, held at Mata’aho Community Hall and conducted by Tonga Just Play Master Instructor, Lafaele Moala.

The Sport 2 Life component focuses on coaches and guiding them to facilitate positive outcomes by helping players to develop the skills to make consistent, long-term, healthy lifestyle choices on and off the field of play.

Mosa’ati Ma’u, President of ‘Eua Football Association, praised the programme and its impact during his opening remarks.

Rugby player gets full suspended sentence for possessing meth

But the judge said his sentence was fully suspended for a period of three years with condition that he must not commit an offence punishable by imprisonment during the three-year period of his suspension.

Kaniva News reports Semisi Fakava was charged with possession of 0.81 gm of methamphetamine on 17 February 2019. He pleaded guilty to the charge. When he was arrested Police also found syringe and a test tube in his possession. He was with two girls in a vehicle in Kolofo’ou at the time of his arrest.

Previous convictions

Public response “phenomenal’ to Weta Coffee- Tonga coffee trailer

The coffee trailer has been serving New Zealand’s award-winning coffee and hot chocolate for a little over a month and the public’s response according to barrister turned entrepreneur and barista, Joan Puloka has been ‘phenomenal’.

Joan shares her story with Loop Tonga.

Tonga continues Covid-19 vaccination roll-out

The second priority group covers everyone aged 45 and above

Persons aged 18-years old and above who have a non-communicable disease (NCD) as well we persons living with disabilities are also included in the group.

The vaccination programme is being conducted in the Kolomotu’a and Kolofo’ou District from today.

Tonga commenced its national roll-out of the vaccination plan for the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine last week.

About 2200 frontline workers have been identified to receive the first dose of the vaccine.

Visit from Tongan representatives strengthens ties with Gunnedah

The Kingdom of Tonga lies significantly more than a cooee away from the landlocked north-western NSW Shire of Gunnedah, but talks between representatives from the two locations have uncovered opportunities the two could realise together.

Mayor of Gunnedah Shire Cr Jamie Chaffey said there is a strong alignment of needs between Gunnedah and Tonga, with the visit marking the beginning of a valuable friendship.

“There are significant employment opportunities here in Gunnedah, both in agriculture and far beyond, and Tonga is interested,” Cr Chaffey said.