23 Australians on board ship delivering aid to Tonga have virus | Health


This is the second aid shipment from Australia in which at least one crew member has tested positive. A C-17 Globemaster military transport plane has already turned back mid-air after someone was diagnosed.

Meanwhile, a cable company official said the main island of Tonga could see internet service restored within two weeks, although repairing the connection to smaller islands could take much longer.

The only fiber optic undersea cable that connects the Pacific nation to the outside world was severed after the eruption and tsunami.

This has prevented most people from connecting with loved ones abroad. For days people were unable to communicate by phone, email or social media.

Since then, Tonga’s Digicel has been able to restore international calling services in some areas using satellite connections. Some people were able to email or get limited internet connectivity.

Samieula Fonua, who chairs the board of Tonga Cable Ltd., the state-owned company that owns the fiber optic cable, said a repair ship had sailed from Papua New Guinea and was due to call at Samoa from here on Monday to stock up. . It is then expected to arrive in Tonga by February 1.

Fonua said the CS Reliance had a crew of around 60 people on board, including engineers, divers and medical personnel. He said his equipment included a robot that could assess the cable on the seabed.

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