Tonga facing lockdown

Tonga is expected to go into lockdown later today after the kingdom reported its first COVID-19 case.

Preparations are underway with churches being mobilised to support medical authorities.

Tonga had been COVID-free until the arrival of a repatriation flight late last week.

The Free Wesleyan Church – the largest Christian denomination in the kingdom – will hold an emergency meeting in the next hour.

Church president, Reverend Dr Tevita Havea, will address ministers on COVID issues, including measures to help those in need.

It is understood the COVID-positive patient returned from New Zealand and was identified during mandatory screening procedures.

Meanwhile, the Privy Council is scheduled to meet this afternoon to advise King Tupou VI on the next steps to take with the COVID emergency.