Tonga goes into lockdown days after reporting its first ever Covid case

Tonga's main island of Tongatapu entered a 7-day lockdown on November 1 after reporting its first positive Covid case.

(CNN)The South Pacific island nation of Tonga went into lockdown on Tuesday, following the discovery of the country's first Covid case since the start of the pandemic.

The Tongan government ordered a weeklong lockdown for the main island Tongatapu, which includes an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew with residents told to stop work and stay inside their homes for all but essential reasons, according to the health ministry.
Public transport will be halted, restaurants, bars and clubs will close, schools and churches will also shut their doors and social distancing will be enforced.
    The restrictions may sound heavy handed for a nation with only one confirmed Covid case, but until a few days ago, Tonga was one of only a small number of countries not to report a single Covid infection since the virus was detected in late 2019.
      Tonga is a Polynesian country of more than 170 South Pacific islands and home to about 100,000 people. It's a remote archipelago that lies about 800 kilometers (497 miles) east of Fiji and 2,380 kilometers (1,480 miles) from New Zealand.
      Like other Pacific island nations, Tonga's early actions in declaring a state of emergency in March 2020 and shutting its borders to foreign nationals protected it from Covid outbreaks that could have devastated the country. Some 22.1% of the population live below the national poverty line and medical facilities and equipment are limited.
      That's why when a passenger who had traveled from New Zealand tested positive last Wednesday, it spurred thousands of people to get vaccinated and prompted warnings from officials to expect pandemic restrictions.