Passengers to remain in quarantine for now

The 16-year-old teenager who arrived in February from New Zealand with 160 other passengers has again tested positive, confirmed the National Emergency Operation Centre. 

In a press conference on Tuesday evening, Director General of the Ministry of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri said all other passengers who came in on the same flight tested negative.

The mandatory quarantine period of 21 days for the passengers who arrived on 12 February expires on Friday this week. 

But Leausa could not give a definite answer, if other passengers who returned negative test results will be released on Friday, until completion of further testing on Thursday night this week.

Until those results are confirmed, a decision will be made according to the outcome, he added.  

“We should use common sense if the result is still positive,” he said.  

“It is best to be cautious and do further testing. 

“There are cases from overseas of passengers testing positive after being released 3 weeks prior, and the level of the virus can build up within that time and is still active.”  

The 16-year-old remains in isolation at the National Hospital at Moto'otua, with other passengers being quarantined at 32 different hotels. 

Leausa said the teenager is healthy but feeling weary of being kept in isolation for the extended quarantine period. 

For safety and to keep the country Covid-free, the Director General said the infected passenger has to remain in isolation. 

The Chairman of N.E.O.C., Agafili Shem Leo acknowledged the tireless work from front line workers in attending to several repatriation flights. 

He commended their families for their support and for the efforts of the front line staff. 

In doing so, he announced that there will be another repatriation flight from New Zealand this Friday and another flight from Fiji that arrived on Tuesday morning. 

He said the passengers were tested upon arrival and will be consequently tested during the quarantine period. 

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