Tonga orders diversion of four ships amid coronavirus fears

The Chief Executive Officer for Health, Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola has ordered the diversion of four ships from the port in Tonga to prevent the introduction of coronavirus Covid-19.

The Maasdam, Silver Whisper, Artania and the Carnival Spirit were scheduled to visit country this month.

Dr 'Akau’ola said, “the diversion order is issued on the basis that I have reasonable grounds to believe that it is necessary to divert the above-mentioned conveyances (watercrafts) to a place outside the Kingdom to prevent the introduction, or spread of a controlled notifiable condition, or other significant threat to public health of the Kingdom.”

Tonga has joined several countries in banning cruise ships from berthing at their ports to prevent the importation of the coronavirus Covid-19.


Photo RNZ Pacific Caption: Ministry of Health CEO, Dr Siale 'Akau'ola