12 test positive as coronavirus continues to haunt Viti Levu
May 12, 2021 5:30 am
Fijians queue outside a supermarket.
There are 12 new cases of COVID-19 and are all from Makoi, Nasinu.
The 12 are all related to the woman who had tested positive in Makoi on Monday and is case 140. Four of the cases are from her own households, seven are from an adjoining home and one is a secondary contact.
The Health Ministry says since a large number of case 140’s close contacts have now tested positive, this means that there has been a significant amount of movement and potential for transmission of the virus to others.
It says that case 140’s travel history, and the work history of one of her contacts, has required the closure of three grocery stores in Suva for decontamination.
These are Extra Supermarket in Suva, and Hanson and Shop and Save in Makoi.
All employees are being tested and the ministry says these stores are not being closed indefinitely and will reopen as soon as decontamination is completed.
Permanent Secretary, Doctor James Fong, says the contact between case 140 and members of an adjoining household is troubling.
“It should serve as a learning opportunity for all of us. Our bubbles must be limited to our households, to the people who share the four walls of our home, not our neighbours, not our friends, not even our family from across the road, we should only interact with the members of our household and no one else. Call your friends, call your family, call your neighbours, do not see them or visit with them. Please do not party your way into an isolation facility. If you are outside, it must be for an essential reason. If you interact with others who are not members of your household, it should happen two metres apart and both of you should be wearing masks properly.”
Doctor Fong says with the worrying clusters and cases, he and other Permanent Secretaries in government along with the private sector have been meeting and scenario-planning based on the results of continuous testing that includes the possibility of a full lockdown of Viti Levu.
“In that event, our priority is on locking down the virus in the active fashion I spoke on yesterday. For the lockdown to be decisive, it must be well-planned and prolonged enough to last for the entire incubation period. The goal of the lockdown is to stop all unnecessary movement and mixing between different people. Informal gatherings and other high-risk activities will carry significant penalties. Essential movement will be highly-controlled. Businesses and the private sector must take on a much higher level of responsibility if they expect to operate at all. I want to assure the public that, if we take the lockdown route they will be given ample notice, not hours, but days, to prepare and for government to allocate resources appropriately.”
PM and cabinet meet health officials