Cruise ship banned from Tonga over coronavirus fears to spend more time in Auckland instead

Source: 1News

Tonga has banned cruise ships coming to the island nation amid the coronavirus outbreak, with one of them now planning on spending more time in Auckland as a result.

A post on the Tongan Prime Minister’s office website says the decision was made with an order under the Public Health Act "to prevent the introduction or spread of a controlled notifiable condition".

The order, issued by the acting chief executive officer for health, affects four ships - the Astor, the Columbus, the Crystal Serenity and the Wind Spirit.

A spokesperson for Cruise and Maritime Voyages told 1 NEWS the order means the Astor will now "proceed to Auckland, New Zealand and plans to extend her time in-port there as well, before continuing on her itinerary as planned".

The news comes as the death toll and number of people infected by the coronavirus, today named as Covid-19, continues to rise.

According to CNN, the total number of deaths is 1107, with one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines. There has been 1068 deaths in China's Hubei district, with the remaining in mainland China.

The global number of confirmed coronavirus cases is now at least 44,138, with the vast majority of cases in mainland China, CNN reported.