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COVID-19

No new cases in Fiji as 98 contacts of doctors identified

May 5, 2021 4:41 am
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with Health officials, ministers and military at the daily briefing

There are no new cases of COVID-19 in Fiji but there is vital information coming to hand for the two doctors who had tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.

98 have been identified as contacts and Permanent Secretary, Doctor James Fong, says unsurprisingly most are colleagues in Lautoka Hospital and some are patients.

The health workers being close contacts has put pressure on staffing at the Lautoka Hospital and staff from other areas are being deployed to the Sugar City.

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“Following confirmation that two doctors at the Lautoka Hospital tested positive for COVID-19, we launched an immediate and intensive contact tracing exercise. These two doctors worked closely together, so we’re quite sure one passed the virus to the other. But individually, they both came into contact with many others. So far, 98 have been identified. This has seriously affected our staffing capacity, particularly for medical and surgical services. We have re-deployed staff from other facilities to cover these gaps, but needless to say, it will be a very demanding two weeks of shifts for the staff at the Lautoka Hospital. Still, we are confident we can manage.”

The Health Ministry says as the two doctors had the careFIJI app on, 20 close contacts have been identified.

“We found these contacts very quickly. We did not need to publish lists of times and locations online to do so. Instead, the app provided that information in a matter of minutes after the doctors uploaded their careFIJI information.”

Doctor Fong has also hit out at those who have been circulating information and names of the two doctors on social media, which he says is disgraceful.

“Not long after, the identities of our two doctors who tested positive for COVID-19 were leaked on social media. Their personal choice to reveal their status was taken from them, and it has impacted them both quite badly. Those who are sharing their identities should stop. I know that preventing information about a person from being shared on social media is akin to trying to stop the tides with a broom. But that doesn’t mean I won’t try. I want to appeal to people to think twice before they share this sort of private information. It reflects poorly on your values and respect for your fellow Fijians. The question you should ask yourself is: Would you like your personal information shared if you or one of your loved ones contracted the coronavirus? The sharing of private and confidential information does real damage to COVID-19 patients who truly do not need any more stress in their lives. We can do better, Fiji, and we should.”

Doctor Fong says Lautoka has existed as a containment area now for 16 days and yesterday was day nine after the recent reset.

“I know life in Lautoka is nowhere near normal. These newest cases do mean the containment area may last for some time longer. So far, our contact tracing stemming from these cases is progressing well, and we will make an epidemiological assessment of the cases to determine whether the containment area protocols should continue, and if so for how long. But we cannot make that determination at this stage. I will let you know as soon as we can.”

All 4,000 vaccine doses for Suva have been administered and about 20,000 will be rolled out in the West this week.

Fiji now has 44 active cases,  after seven more recoveries were recorded.

Looking at our second wave cases so far, on Monday, the two doctors tested positive, while on Saturday , the two daughters of the woman from Cunningham Stage One tested positive in quarantine and the day before, a woman, who is the wife of case number 110, had tested positive.

Last week, we had a person test positive on Thursday. He had arrived from PNG arrival, was in quarantine and tested since April 9th, had three negative pre-departure tests before leaving PNG, and tested negative twice while in Tanoa quarantine facility before being discharged last Friday.

He was re-swabbed in Navua as part of the quarantine breaches at the facility and tested positive.

A woman from Vunimono, Nausori was also announced positive on Thursday. She is the wife of the man who had tested positive on Wednesday and his 52-year-old aunt are all positive cases.

A 68-year-old male from Rakiraki also test positive the same day, while a border quarantine case, a man who had traveled from Guyana to Fiji and is a Tongan national and was on his way to Tonga is also infected. He arrived on the last flight into Fiji on April 22, through NZ 952 from Auckland.

The 25-year-old man who had stayed at the Makoi house of the soldier and his wife, who is also positive, was announced last Wednesday as positive.

Four of the six are soldiers returning from overseas and fraternized amongst themselves and were announced positive earlier with two family members of the woman from Wainitarawau, Cunningham Stage 1.

Of the cases announced before, a soldier, who was a roommate of case 73 was announced positive earlier, Four people, who were close contacts of the hotel maid from Nadi, who had tested positive after having contracted the virus from the first solider or case 73, during an interaction, were also tested positive.

The cases continue after the maid from Nadi tested positive on April 19th and the day before when the army officer had got the virus, after supposedly handling the baggage of a couple who had arrived from India with the virus.

Following that, we had a woman from Cunningham, who had attended the ‘Super Spreader’ funeral in Tavakubu, Lautoka, while her 14-year-old daughter and toddler contracted the virus as well.

The maid’s daughter and a close contact along with another couple who attended the funeral, have also tested positive, with the woman from Makoi, who is the wife of the soldier, who had made contact with case 73.

 

 

 

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