An Australian ship infected with COVID-19 was forced to deliver the necessary supplies to Tonga contactlessly.

The Australian Navy ship HMAS Adelaide, which was hit by the COVID-19 outbreak, arrived in Tonga on Wednesday to unload more humanitarian and medical supplies as the country recovered from the devastating volcanic and tsunami disasters. did.

Since there are currently no cases of COVID-19 in Tonga, authorities claim that all foreign aid is provided without person-to-person contact. In addition, goods delivered by aid flights are left for 72 hours before being unpacked to reduce the risk of infection.

After negotiations with the Tongan government, HMAS Adelaide, which carries 23 people who tested positive for the CCP virus, was allowed to dock and deliver supplies through a non-contact process.

“The ship is moored and there is no contact … Australians from the ship will unload cargo and depart from the port,” Tonga’s Minister of Health, Saia Piukala, told Broadcom Broadcast Radio.

“The Government of Tonga is grateful for the decision to allow HMAS Adelaide to dock and unload humanitarian supplies and medical supplies, and has made COVID safety a top priority throughout the recovery process.” Joint statement From Australia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Defense and International Development.

Tonga volcano
Satellite image of Tonga’s underwater volcanic eruption that reached the stratosphere on January 15, 2022.
(AAP image / Tonga Meteorological Service, Tonga Government)

“To date, Australia has delivered more than 40 tons of emergency relief supplies to Tonga, for shelter materials, water and sanitation facilities, equipment to restore communications, and people removing ash. Includes personal protective equipment. “

The Morrison government has promised an additional $ 2 million ($ 1.4 million) in humanitarian funding to support Tonga. This brings the total amount to date to $ 3 million ($ 2.1 million).

“We are ready to provide further assistance to meet the needs of Tonga,” said a joint statement by the Australian Ministers.

“We are also working closely with other partners such as France, New Zealand, Fiji, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and non-governmental organizations under the FRANZ Pacific Humanitarian Partnership.”

The Pacific island nation experienced an underwater eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano on January 15 and a subsequent tsunami. This cut off the fiber optic communication cable that connects the country to the outside world.

The entire village on one of the islands of Tonga was wiped out by the tsunami after the volcanic eruption, which killed at least three people.

Damaged area of ​​Nuku'alofa in Tonga
This photo, provided by Broadcom Broadcasting, shows the area affected by Nuku’alofa in Tonga on January 20, 2022. (MarianKupu / Broadcom Broadcasting via AP)

Australia has also promised to expand its support, including the restoration of electricity and communications, the storage and effective provision of relief supplies, and further restoration efforts on the most affected remote islands.

HMAS Adelaide We also delivered engineering equipment and helicopters to support logistics and distribution on Wednesday.

Epoch Times Sydney Staff