SUVA, May 3 (Xinhua) – Tonga has reported 174 new cases of COVID-19 in the last few days, while Samoa has decided to extend the second-level blocking regime for another two weeks.

According to the news site Matangi Tonga Online on Tuesday night, the Tongan Ministry of Health confirmed that the Pacific island nation recorded 174 cases of COVID-19 from Sunday to Monday, bringing the total number of active cases of COVID-19 to 1,217, most of which on the main island of Tongatapu.

The ministry also reported that 9,255 people in Tonga had been cured of COVID-19, and the number of deaths related to COVID-19 remained at 11.

Currently, 91 percent of the target Tongan population over the age of 12 received a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, at least 98 percent received the first dose, and 56 percent received regular vaccinations.

Tonga is still under the orange lock level limit, and curfew is in effect from 22:00 to 5:00 local time.

Meanwhile, in Samoa, the Cabinet has decided to extend the second-level blockade for another two weeks, valid at midnight on Tuesday until May 17.

The Prime Minister of Samoa, Fiam, Naomi Mataafa, announced the resumption of international flights this month, although this is limited to Samoans traveling for a variety of purposes, and for all those who work under contract in the island nation.

The prime minister also said Samoa would reopen its borders to fully vaccinated foreign travelers in August or September this year.

Critical for opening the borders are current vaccination rates, changes in quarantine requirements and opening the borders of Fiji, Australia and New Zealand to Samoa, she added.

In Samoa, 92.6 percent of people over the age of 18 received a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while a total of 70,439 were vaccinated.

There are now 19 COVID-19-related deaths in Samoa.

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