Nabua couple are latest COVID-19 patients, Suva in lockdown from tomorrow

April 2, 2020 4:55 pm

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama [Source: Fijian Government]

A couple from Nabua in Suva are the latest two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Fiji.

This has taken Fiji’s total confirmed cases of Coronavirus to seven.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says the sixth case is a 21-year-old woman and the seventh case is her 33-year-old husband.

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Both patients have been transported securely and hygienically in an ambulance to the Navua Hospital Isolation Ward where both are in stable condition.

The couple shared a home with their daughter, she has been taken into isolation as well.

The woman developed symptoms on Saturday, the 28th of March.

She informed the Ministry of Health on the 1st of April.

Health teams visited her home and tested her that same day.

Her partner, the 33-year-old husband reported symptoms on the 31st of March.

He was tested the same day as his wife.

The Prime Minister says these two new cases are the most serious developments to-date.

“Unlike our other case in the Suva area who was immediately self-quarantined and then isolated, there is a high risk these patients have infected others, as they not only lived in close contact with other families in their settlement but served in a very public-facing job. Both patients worked as hairdressers, one at the Jade Salon in Suva and the other at the Super Cuts in Damodar City Suva. We’ve been informed both individuals stopped working from the 28th of March, but witness accounts have thrown those accounts into doubt. We need to respond as if both individuals were working while showing symptoms, and take assertive action to contain the virus”.

Bainimarama says contact tracing teams are now in full force trying to track down all potential contacts.

“Our newest two cases are unrelated to our first five cases. We’re actively identifying all of these individuals’ close contacts. We’ve identified a contact who lived at home with these two patients after returning from India as the likeliest transmitter of the virus. This person has been placed into isolation in Labasa Hospital, but we cannot comment further until testing confirms this person as the source.”

Bainimarama has also announced that the greater Suva area will be going into lockdown from 5am tomorrow for 14 days.

From tomorrow the following are the lockdown points:

Delainavesi Bridge
Sawani Junction
Rewa Bridge

The PM says the greater public will not be allowed in or out –– only those travelling for medical purposes will be allowed through checkpoints.

*All non-essential businesses will be closed.

*Supermarkets and shops selling food will remain open so that people can buy food.

*Restaurants can remain open, so long as they cut seating capacity below 20 people, practice safe physical distancing between tables and at queues, and must focus on takeaway and delivery orders.

*Banks will remain open so that people can get money.

*Pharmacies will remain open so that people can get medicine.

*FNPF will remain open so that people can access funds.

*Essential business will remain open.

Just like Lautoka, that list includes air and rescue services, air traffic control services, civil aviation, telecommunication services, food and sanitary manufacturing plants, electricity services, emergency services, fire services, health and hospital services, lighthouse services, meteorological services, mine pumping, ventilation and winding, sanitary services, supply and distribution of fuel and gas, power, telecommunications, garbage collection, transport services, water and sewage services, FNPF and FRCS, civil service, private security services and roading services. If your business is not on this list, close it down. As for civil servants, continue to go to work unless your Permanent Secretary has informed you to work from home.

*Markets will remain open but the PM says they are decentralising markets into satellite markets to prevent the sort of dangerous overcrowding that spurs the spread of the virus;

*Given some Fijians need to seek specialised treatment at facilities in Suva, the checkpoints will allow these individuals who need to undergo surgery or receive kidney dialysis treatment.

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