A traveler just brought Tonga its very first Covid case

Nearly every nation on the planet has had their share of Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began. But Tonga, the island nation in the South Pacific with a population of about 106,000, had managed to stay completely clear of the virus — until today, when a traveler from New Zealand was tested positive upon arrival.

From ABC News:

Tonga is among the few remaining nations in the world that have avoided outbreaks of the virus. Like many of its neighbors, Tonga's isolation has helped keep it safe but it faces big challenges should the virus take hold due to its under-resourced health system.

The nearby nation of Fiji avoided significant outbreaks until April, when the delta variant ripped through the island chain, infecting more than 50,000 people and killing at least 673.

Tonga's Prime Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa said in a radio address that the traveler was among 215 passengers who had arrived on a flight from the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Wednesday and had been isolating at a quarantine hotel.

The prime minister planned on Monday to make an announcement about any future lockdowns, according to news website Matangi Tonga.

The traveler had received both shots of the Pfizer vaccine and had tested negative for Covid before leaving New Zealand.