Outbreak will test healthcare system: Professor Baker
May 7, 2021 4:35 pm
The current outbreak of COVID-19 in the country ultimately tests Fiji’s health system and its ability to manage the spread of the virus.
Michael Baker, the Professor of Public Health at the University of Otago in Wellington, New Zealand is confident that Fiji, despite its limited health resources will be able to contain the spread of the virus.
“This current outbreak in Lautoka Hospital is part of an ongoing outbreak that’s been going for more than two weeks now. This is the real test for Fiji’s ability to manage the pandemic. They’ve done extremely and they went for a year with no community transmission and now they are battling this outbreak.”
Professor Baker says it is critical for Fiji to trace and identify all unknown lines of transmission in order to curtail the spread of the virus locally.
“It will take several weeks because they have an unknown line of transmission. Even with good contract tracing they will still need some kind of lockdown which I think they’re implementing at the moment and that again as we now take several weeks before you fully extinguish lines of transmission.”
While commending Fiji’s effort in being a COVID contained country for a year, Professor Baker also highlighted the need to get the virus under control as soon as possible.
“It does mean that you have to really pay attention to travel restrictions because you don’t want to be transmitted or carried from the towns to the isolated communities where it could be really devastating.”
Fiji’s Ministry of Health says they will continue to screen and swab as many people as possible and implement stricter measures if the need arises in order to stomp out COVID-19 from our community.