A new hub for treating suspected and confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Tonga is close to completion.
The Mu'a Health Centre traditionally acts as a general practice, dentistry and optometry, but now will stand in as a centre for cases of coronavirus, but more importantly separate them from patients at Vaiola Hospital.
The renovations at the health centre were completed this week by His Majesty's Armed Forces.
The Chief Executive of Health Dr Siale Akauola said there are still a few more things around the centre that needs to be installed before opening up.
"The construction team still need to install fume hoods into the centre as well as the generators."
"We have ordered more equipment that would help the medical team tackle coronavirus like other countries and until then we are looking to open up the Mu'a Health Centre in the next few days to a week."
The Ministry of Health announced earlier this week that they have received a mobile x-ray machine, which will be used on suspected and confirmed patients.
A second testing machine and testing kits are set to arrive from New Zealand by the end of the week.
Tonga needs to get their preparedness plan right
Schools in Tonga resumed term on 14 April and Dr Akauola said one of the main reasons for that was to continue to emphasise hygiene practices to students, the importance of social distancing and more significantly their role in this pandemic.
"I think it is important for the students to understand Covid-19, especially community transmission and how they could be part of that equation if there was a case in Tonga."
"The best time to teach them is now, when the country is currently Covid-19 free and while the borders are closed."
Tonga have renewed their Declaration of a State of Emergency, which will now end on 15 May 2020, unless further renewed.
Dr Akauola said Tonga was not ready to receive any cases of coronavirus and not being fully prepared for the consequences was why the SOE was extended.
"We need to strengthen the knowledge of the virus in the public. We need to make sure the public fully understand what is at stake here."
"This is our opportunity to get Tongans mentally prepared as well as change their behaviours so that they are keeping themselves out of scenarios where they could be at risk."
"Another reason why we extended the SOE is so that we can assess how the viruses are evolving around the world, for example, learning about the allegations of asymptomatic area transmission.
"We want to understand that better as that could be a concern for us."
Tonga remains Covid-19 free and have discharged all their patients that had been quarantined, including those who were in home quarantine and at the Taliai camp near Fua'amotu International Airport.