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Relief flight to Tonga has to turn around due to corona case on board | Abroad

The flight that had to turn around had departed from Brisbane, Australia on Thursday afternoon. Before departure, all crew members had submitted a negative antigen test. Once en route, however, one of the crew members turned out to have a positive result in a PCR test, which had also been taken as a precaution.

A spokesman for the Australian Ministry of Defense reports that after returning to Brisbane, the relief supplies were transferred to another plane that left for Tonga. The first aid flights departing from New Zealand and Australia arrived in Tonga on Thursday. The countries sent essential goods such as water and communications equipment to the volcanic ash-covered island nation. There are also naval vessels with tens of thousands of liters of drinking water on the way.

The volcano near Tonga erupted on Saturday, causing a tsunami. The eruption of the volcano was so great that it could be measured everywhere on Earth by difference in air pressure. More than 80 percent of the archipelago’s 100,000 residents have been affected by the disaster, the United Nations said on Wednesday. At least five people have been killed, but the death toll could rise further.

Tonga is one of the few countries in the world to be corona-free and an outbreak there would be “disastrous” according to the UN.

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