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COVID-19

COVID-19 testing now more extensive

May 27, 2020 4:50 pm
The Ministry of Health has extended its testing facilities in addition to its main Centre for Disease Control. [File Photo]

The Fiji Centre for Disease Control remains the central lab testing facility in Fiji and samples from ten sentinel sites are sent here for testing.

As part of this ministerial address on Fiji’s response to the global pandemic, Health Minister Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete noted that to date more than 2,400 Fijians have been screened for the virus.

18 cases in total have been confirmed, 15 of which have recovered, with only three now active.

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Dr. Waqainabete says part of Fiji’s extensive surveillance and monitoring of the virus has been made possible with strategic establishments to allow for more testing.

“We have also identified health facilities in the public and private sector division in the country to be sentinel testing sites and they are now testing patients with respiratory symptoms for COVID-19 adding further surveillance capability.”

The Health Minister also told the House that the effective response had been made possible with an all government approach that included political will, increased budgetary support and a multi-agency steering committee to name a few.

He says all these efforts and that of all the front-line medical staff as well as law enforcement personnel has enabled Fiji to not only fight the pandemic, but to be on the cusp of defeating it entirely.

Meanwhile, in the Opposition ranks, Pio Tikoduadua while commending the response efforts, also highlighted the need to look beyond the health crisis and that the economic and social effects of the virus and it’s evident toll on Fiji given the recent mass termination on Monday of 758 staffs from Fiji Airways.

Tikoduadua also questioned the Health Minister on why there wasn’t an inclusion in his ministerial address of a break-down of their COVID-19 budget of $40 million which was allocated to the Ministry on the 27th of March.

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