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COVID-19

Fiji now fighting a variant of concern

May 12, 2021 6:00 am
Ariel view of Suva City.

The World Health Organization has now classified the COVID-19 mutation that is present in Fiji as a variant of concern.

This comes as cabinet will be meeting today to look at and endorse the available options in the fight against the rapid rise of cases on Viti Levu.

While the WHO has been warning all nations about the threat of coronavirus in general, the new information to hand does show some concern.

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The WHO classifies COVID-19 variants as either variants under observation or variants of concern.

Variants of concern are classed as more contagious, hard to control and one that leads to more severe illness.

WHO’s senior scientist, Maria Van Kerkhove, says they have some information that shows that the B1.6.17 variant is one of concern.

“In consultation with our virus working group, and our epi teams and our lab teams, internally there is some information to suggest increased transmissibility of B 1.6.17. There is a preprint that is out. So this is a paper that has not undergone peer review and it has some limited number of patients suggesting that there is some reduced neutralization and as such as are classifying as a variant of concern at the global level.”

12 more people were announced positive last night, while five more people have recovered.

There are now 43 active cases, six are border quarantine cases, 31 local transmissions, and six under investigation.

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