17 COVID-19 cases; newest from Vanua Levu

April 17, 2020 7:50 am

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama [Source: Fijian Government]

Fiji’s COVID-19 cases have increased to 17 with the latest case coming out of Vanua Levu.

The patient is a 21-year old who is a relative and travel companion of patient nine.

The two had traveled together from India to Singapore and on to Fiji.

Article continues after advertisement

The Prime Minister says since his return to Fiji, the man had not shown any single symptoms of the coronavirus.

Bainimarama says upon returning to the country this young man was in self-quarantine for two full weeks, up until April 5th.

He says free of any symptoms throughout the virus’s known two-week incubation period, by all appearances, the patient was in the clear.

“But as experts have unveiled more about the insidious nature of this virus, and our understanding of the disease has evolved, the way we define and contain cases must evolve as well. From this week, we’ve widened our testing to all close contacts of all our confirmed cases, regardless of whether they are displaying symptoms. That’s how we identified, tested and confirmed this gentleman as our 17th case. He was immediately entered into isolation upon testing positive today where he is in stable condition. His close contacts have been entered into separate isolation facilities.”

Bainimarama says this all goes to show that the knowns of this virus pale in comparison to the unknowns.

“What we do know is this: physical distancing is the only strategy that stops this virus. The disease cannot move if its carrier doesn’t –– so while there is no medical cure, time and distance are two sure-fire ways to put a stop to its transmission.”

The latest case was one of the 25 tested samples yesterday. The Health Ministry had tested ten samples the day prior and all returned negative.

Bainimarama also highlighted that the first 16 patients living with Coronavirus are all in stable condition.

Click here for PM’s statement

Click here for more on COVID-19