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COVID-19

Possibility of public health restriction announcement tomorrow

April 18, 2021 5:49 pm

The Ministry of Health says they will update the public on any health restrictions tomorrow.

This depends on the test results of the Fijians who are now in quarantine following the latest case of COVID-19 at a border quarantine facility in Nadi.

Permanent Secretary, Dr James Fong, says the soldier who tested positive for COVID-19 in a quarantine facility yesterday contracted the virus from two people who returned from India.

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He says they have to assume that the soldier had some contact with day time workers at the quarantine facility and there is a serious risk that the virus could have entered the community.

Dr Fong says they started contact tracing effort since 10pm yesterday to identify those who may have had direct contact with the soldier.

“We have deliberately widened our definition of first generation of contact to cast a wide net out of an abundance of caution. These individuals are all now in quarantine facilities where they will be quarantine for 14 days. So far 56 out of this 69 first generation contact have tested negative for the virus. 13 results are still being processed. We have identified and contained 267 second generation contact. These are individuals sharing a household with the first generation contact.”

He says tests are being conducted and more results are expected tomorrow.

“As this result come in, we will have a clear idea whether our contact tracing needs to expand but as of today we are very comfortable with how wide we have cast out net. Right now our priority is on obtaining the clearest possible picture about the potential length of the chain of the transmission. The Prime Minister has identified or has discouraged people from non-essential travel and gatherings. We expect to update the public on any new health restrictions in line with that announcement tomorrow”.

The COVID-19 border quarantine that was announced this morning was detected yesterday.

Dr Fong says the soldier in question tested negative during the first round of routine testing on the 10th of April and seven days later his result returned positive.

He stresses the soldier did not violate any protocols in place.

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