No new cases in MIQ but concerns for those still in MIQ for 17 days; questions government’s overly cautious approach

Health Officials at the MIQ facility at Homofiti

The number of active covid 19 cases in MIQ remains at 2 according to the government press release last night and on the Covid 19 dashboard count on its website. There were no new cases detected from the day 1 testing yesterday of the passengers who arrived on Monday this week. The next test for the 30 passengers will be day three tests on Thursday this week. 

Of the thirty new passengers in MIQ, sixteen of them are at home quarantine facilities, six home MIQs at Alofi, and one at Namukulu.

Meanwhile, the passengers from the 22nd of March flight who tested positive and their immediate close contacts remain in MIQ even though they all tested negative on Wednesday last week.

BCN News understands that some of them who’ve been in MIQ for 17 have been told that the two who tested positive on their day seven tests and have since tested negative are permitted to leave MIQ on the 11th of April while their two close contacts who tested negative on days 1,3,7,9 and 15 will be staying on until the 17th of April. The close contacts have never tested positive since arriving on March 22nd but they are expected to stay in MIQ for 27 days.

The decision to prolong these people’s stay in MIQ is being questioned by some who say that the government’s ‘overly cautious approach is not making any sense at all and is impacting the mental health of these people in MIQ especially since the government is going to allow home isolation next month.

It’s understood that these people all tested negative on Wednesday last week, but they remain in MIQ now into day 17. According to BCN sources some of these people have been testing daily using the rapid antigen tests (RAT) and have consistently returned negative results since last week.

Premier Dalton Tagelagi last month said that the government is looking to relax MIQ requirements by allowing home isolation for all incoming passengers starting in early May.

The health department continues to ask the very few on the island yet to be vaccinated to do so while the children 5- to 11-year-olds will be receiving their 2nd dose of the paediatric Pfizer vaccine from Tuesday next week 12th April until the 27th of April. 

According to the government’s covid vaccination rates updated to 7pm last night, 99.4% of the eligible population of 12-year-olds and over have received their two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and 98% of the eligible population of 18 years and over are boosted.

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