Posted: 03-Dec-2020 04:35 PM


The COVID-19 pandemic has hit every corner of the earth with some countries hit harder than others and its impact continues to crumble economic systems in many countries, cause food crisis in other countries, and a heavy burden on health worker and facilities worldwide. The latest COVID-19 situation report by the World Health Organization (WHO) as of the 15th November 2020; indicates over 53.7 million cases have been confirmed and the total death reported 1.3 million people have died. 
The figures shown in these reports are not only alarming but also indicates that this pandemic is far from over. There are new cases increasing every week and the death toll continues to increase every month. It is reported that about 60,000 new cases were confirmed globally from 19th October to the 9th of November. This is an increase from about 45,000 from the weeks between September and October. The most concerning part of this report is that it shows there are more deaths now compared to the early months of the pandemic. The number of reported death between March and April was around 50,000 compared to 60,000 deaths between October and November.

In this perspective it is somehow critical to think that almost a year since this pandemic began and not less people are getting infected and not less people are dying. There must be a logical reason as to why there is an acceleration in the COVID-19 infections and deaths. Could it be that health facilities have collapsed under the pressures of this pandemic, or could it be that some governments have eased up on its national lockdowns, or could it be the repatriation flights carrying people across countries, or desperation has forced people out of safety and into vulnerable situations, or could it be a behavioural issue whereby people might think the pandemic might be over soon and so takes it for granted. But, for whatever reason it is still important for countries to remain vigilant and people to be more cautious and continue good hygiene practices. There is no certain indicator that a return to normalcy can occur within the next year or so. 

Alessandro Vespignani designs models to try and predict the outbreak of coronavirus in the North-eastern University Network Science Institute. She made a statement saying "If we go back to March, at that time, we were saying if this thing is not handled very carefully, we could end up with 200,000 or 300,000 deaths.”……..” At that time, everyone was saying that's impossible. I think we should use that perspective now, especially when we think about the future."
This pandemic is encroaching closer and closer to home, and with every repatriation flights planned to arrive in Tonga the risk in much higher. On the 11th November 2020 Vanuatu reported its first COVID-19 case. The infected person was travelling from the United States via Australia, New Zealand to Vanuatu. A few days ago Samoa recorded its first COVID-19 case. The passenger was on a repatriation flight from New Zealand. 

Tonga including five other Pacific Island countries remain COVID free. Yet, Tonga will have to deal with the planned repatriation flights due to arrive in Tonga this week and the next few months. This is to cater for the thousand more Tongans still stranded abroad since the national border closures were in place. The Government must rethink its health and economic strategies going in to the future and the people of Tonga home and abroad must not return to normalcy but rather find an alternative way of life much suitable to accommodate the future. 


Kuo fetaulaki ‘a e ngaahi tapa kotoa ‘o mamani pea mo e mahaki faka’auha COVID-19 pea ko hono ngaahi ha’aha’a kuo ne tapalasia e ngaahi ‘ekonomika, fakatupu e palopalema fakame’atokoni ki he kakai tokolahi, pea mafasia mo e ngaahi falemahaki lahi ‘i mamani. Ko e lipooti fakamuimui taha ‘a e COVID-19 mei he Kautaha Mo’ui ‘a Mamani (WHO) ‘i he ‘aho 15 Novema 2020, ‘oku ha ai ko e keisi ‘e 53.7 miliona kuo ma’u pea ko e kakai ‘e toko 1.3 miliona kuo nau pekia mei he mahaki faka’auha.

‘Oku fakaha mai ‘e he ngaahi lipooti ko ‘eni ‘a e me’a ke fai e tokanga lahi ‘aupito ki ai pea ‘oku ne to e fakamahino mai ko e mahaki faka’auha ko ‘eni ‘oku te’eki ai ke vavea ke ‘osi ia. Ka ‘oku kei hiki to pe lahi ‘o e ngaahi keisi fo’ou ‘oku ma’u pea mo e ‘alu ke toe lahi ange mate ‘a e kakai. Na’e lipooti foki ko e keisi fakakatoa ‘e 60,000 ne ma’u mei he ‘aho 19 ‘Okatopa ki he ‘aho 9 Novema ‘o fakahoa ia ki he keisi ‘e 45,000 fakakatoa ne ma’u mei he vaha’a taimi Sepitema ki ‘Okatopa. Ka ‘oku to e fakalilifu ange ko e lahi ange mate he taimi ni ‘o fakatatau ki he ngaahi mahina ne fuofua to mai ai ‘a e mahaki faka’auha. Na’e toko 50,000 e kau mate ‘i he vaha’a taimi Ma’asi ki ‘Epeleli, ka ko ‘eni kuo toko 60,000 ‘a e mate ia mei ‘Okatopa pe ki Novema.

Ko ia ‘oku mahu’inga ai ke fai ha to e vakai ki he tu’unga ko ‘eni, he ko e mei lava ‘aki ‘eni ‘a e ta’u ‘e taha ‘o e to mai ‘a e mahaki faka’auha pea ‘oku ‘ikai ke ‘alu ia ke holo hifo ‘a e ngaahi keisi pe ko e holo hifo ‘a e ngaahi mate. ‘Oku totonu leva ke fakakaukau’i lelei pe ko e ha nai ‘uhinga ‘oku to e hikihiki to ai ‘a e ngaahi keisi mo e kakai ‘oku mate. Pe kuo mate mafasia mo’oni e ngaahi falemahaki, pe koe ‘uhi ko e to’o e ngaahi fakataputapui ‘a e ngaahi pule’anga lahi, pe ko e tupu mei he fefolau’aki holo ko ‘eni e ngaahi fonua ke fakafoki honau kakai, pe kuo mavahe kakai mei he ngaahi feitu’u na’a nau malu ai ko e kumi ha mo’ui mo ha ngaue he ngaahi feitu’u ‘oku tu’u lavea ngofua ki he mahaki, pe na’a kuo fakavaivai e kakai tokolahi ia ‘o to’o ma’ama’a ‘a e mahaki faka’auha ko e ‘uhi ko e fakakaukau kuo mei ‘osi tokua e mafola ia e mahaki. Ka ko e ha pe ‘a e ‘uhinga ka ‘oku fiema’u ke to e mata’aa ange ngaahi fonua pea to e tokanga ange foki mo e kakai ki he faka’ehi’ehi mo e mo’ui ma’a. He ‘oku ‘ikai ha me’afua pau he taimi ni te ne fakaha mai kuo vave ha ‘osi ‘a e mahaki faka’auha ‘i he ta’u ka hoko mai.

Ko Alessandro Vespignani ko e taha fakatotolo ia ki he ngaahi motolo ke ne fakafuofua ‘a e tu’unga ‘oku mafola ai ‘a e mahaki faka’auha. ‘Oku ne fai fatongia ‘i he tafa’aki saienisi ‘o e ‘Univesiti North-eastern, ka na’a ne pehe “Kapau te tau foki ki Ma’asi ‘oe ta’u ni, he taimi ko ia na’e fakafuofua kapau te tau ta’etokanga ki he mahaki faka’auha ‘e ofi he toko 200,000 ki he 300,000 ‘a e mate.”……”Taimi ko ia ne pehe ‘e he kakai tokolahi ia ‘e ‘ikai lava ia ke a’u ki ai. ‘Oku ou tui ‘oku totonu ke tau ngaue’aki ‘a e fakakaukau ko ia, tautau tefito ki he ‘etau sio ko ia ki he kaha’u.”

Ka ‘oku nga’unu mai pe mahaki faka’auha ke to e ofi ange ki hotau fonua, pea ko e vaka kotoa pe ‘oku teu ke tu’uta mai pea foki mai ai hotau kakai ‘oku tau to  e tu’u lavea ngofua ange ai. Ko e ‘aho 11 Novema ne fakaha ai mei hotau fonua kaunga’api ko Vanuatu ‘enau fuofua mahaki ‘oku ma’u he COVID-19. Ko e pasese na’a ne folau mai mei ‘Amelika, fou mai ‘Aositelelia mo Nu’usila ‘o a’u ki Vanuatu. Pea koe ngaahi ‘aho si’i pe mei ai kuo toe fakaha ‘e Samoa ‘enau fuofua mahaki COVID-19 ko e pasese ne foki mai mei Nu’usila.

Kaekehe foki ko Tonga pe mo e ngaahi fonua kehe ‘e nima ‘i he Pasifiki ‘oku nau kei hao mei he mahaki faka’auha. Ka ‘oku kei tu’ulahoko mai foki mo e ngaahi vakapuna ke tu’uta mai mo e feinga’i ke fakafoki mai hotau kakai ‘oku nau kei tukuvakaa he ‘otu muli. Kuo pau ke to e fakakaukaua ange ‘e he Pule’anga ‘etau palani ngaue ki he ngaahi ta’u ka hoko mai he ko e mahaki faka’auha ‘e to e loloa ange ‘etau fe’ao mo to e lahi ange, pea ko e kakai ke nau tokateu mo kumi ha ngaahi ma’u’anga mo’ui makehe ange ke tokoni ki honau ngaahi famili ki he kaha’u.


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