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Fiji has reported no new case of coronavirus infection after the screening of 7560 Fijians and 1212 tests conducted by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.
However, Ministry of Health and Medical Services permanent secretary Dr James Fong stressed that no need to celebrate.
He said it doesn’t mean there are no cases out there; it means none have been detected over the past 24 hours.
“We are certain there are more cases that will develop or – worryingly – that an unconfirmed case of the virus has already developed into a highly-contagious disease.
“Our biggest fear right now is that someone, with symptoms, has not reported to a screening clinic or called 158.”
“This virus arrives in waves. A lull can often signal a surge. So let’s not let one day of no new cases fool anyone into thinking this storm is over.
“That will accomplish nothing, except for causing more Fijians to let their guards down. This is a matter of when, not if, we detect additional cases, so while it is a glimmer of hope, the road ahead is far from clear.
“With everyone safely at home, my contact tracing teams have worked tirelessly through the torrential rains this weekend to identify the contacts of case 113 -- the garment factory employee. Of her 877 contacts, 95% have been contacted, screened, and swabbed, including all of her closest contacts who shared her bus and worked in close proximity to her at the factory. They will all remain under home quarantine for at least 14 days from their last contact with the case. 611 have tested negative for COVID-19 so far with more samples being tested,” said Dr Fong.
Dr Fong said Suva and Nausori are not the only source points of their contact tracing efforts.
“The two clusters in Ra are still unlinked to other existing cases. We are pursuing two main leads -- one is that the cases are related directly to the quarantine facility breach. Two, that these cases may be rippling out from an individual in Ra who attended the funeral in Tavakubu. If you are this person, or you know this person, please contact the Ministry at 158.
“We’re also awaiting the results from Melbourne to confirm a genetic link to other local cases in Fiji. Hopefully that guides our investigation to a link with another chain of transmission. But no matter what the sample tells us, our overarching solution will be the same: We need widespread adoption of our COVID-safe health habits. Not only for a weekend, a week, or even a month -- these measures must be kept by everyone, everywhere for the foreseeable future,” Dr Fong said.
As of Sunday, 02 May 2, 2021 in Fiji there still is 49 active confirmed COVID-19 cases in isolation, 16 of which are border quarantine cases, with 31 locally transmitted cases and two currently still under being investigated to determine source of transmission.
Meanwhile, the Suva- Nausori lockdown zone was reverted into two separate containment areas at 4am today, after 56 hours lockdown on the weekend.
According to a post on the Fijian Government Facebook page, the containment areas are the Suva containment area and the Nausori containment area.
Ministry of Health and Medical Services permanent secretary Dr James Fong said the borders of the areas are unchanged.
“The lifting of that lockdown measure will mean that, within these containment areas, movement – for essential purposes only – may resume,” Dr Fong said.
“Our system of cross-border deliveries of food and essential items into the containment areas will also resume,” he said.
“And supermarkets, banks, pharmacies and other essential businesses – as identified by the Ministry – may operate from tomorrow(Monday).”
The rules for the containment area are as follows:
– Curfew hours will be from 11pm until 4 am.
– supermarkets, banks, pharmacies and other essential businesses — as identified by the Ministry — may operate.
– Everyone should stay home unless they have an essential reason to leave.
– You should not mix with anyone who doesn’t share your home with you.
– No sports of any kind should be played.
– Places of worship will remain closed.
– Save for small funeral ceremonies, no non-work gatherings of any size should take place. In fact, you should not come within two metres of anyone if you can help it.
– Anywhere you go outside of your home, you should have on a mask or face covering
– Wash your hands well and often. Use sanitiser when you see it.
– Businesses that are not on the list of essential services should not open.
– You should not share takis, bilos or cigarettes. Any person-to-person interaction — even a maskless conversation — can put you at-risk.
– And please download careFIJI, and keep your bluetooth switched on when you are in public spaces. This does not chew battery or data.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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