Fiji's fifth COVID-19 case confirmed in Lautoka

March 25, 2020 4:41 pm

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama

Fiji’s fifth case of COVID-19 has just been announced. The 31-year-old Lautoka woman was in contact with the first case, the flight attendant, who was confirmed positive last week.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says after the first person was diagnosed, the authorities quickly determined that the first patient attended a Zumba class while he was displaying symptoms.

He says all members of that class were directed to self-quarantine the same day the first patient was diagnosed, the 19th of March and they were each instructed to immediately alert our medical teams if they began developing symptoms.

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“Yesterday, four days into compulsory self-quarantine, one of the class members, a 31-year-old woman, began displaying symptoms. During their Zumba class, she worked out in close proximity with the first patient and shared a hug. When she later recognised her symptoms, she notified our rapid response medical teams, who securely and hygienically transported her via ambulance to the isolation ward at Lautoka Hospital. She was tested. Early this morning, she was confirmed as Fiji’s fifth case of COVID-19.”

He says the woman was in quarantine when her symptoms first developed.

“She shares a household with nine others – two of whom were also showing symptoms and have been isolated in Lautoka Hospital. The other seven remain under strict quarantine in the home, which is under constant police surveillance.”

The Prime Minister says this is the reason why Lautoka was shut down after the first case was identified.

“For anyone out there still asking why we’ve had to shut down the Lautoka confined area, this case is exactly why. We knew there was a risk that our first patient may have spread the virus to others. That is why we did not hesitate in shutting down movement into and out of the Lautoka confined area. No one in and no one out. If we hadn’t done so, this new patient could have travelled to other parts of Fiji, potentially exposing others and vastly complicating our contact tracing efforts.”

There are now four cases in Lautoka and one in Suva and all are in stable condition and are still isolated.

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