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COVID-19

We need to control now before we lose the battle: MOH

May 6, 2021 5:30 am
Health Permanent Secretary, Doctor James Fong [left] and Head of Health Protection, Doctor Alisha Sahukhan

The Health Ministry says Fijians need to be fully aware that the deadly COVID-19 virus may be present in the community.

This comes as the 53-year-old man, who has tested positive, has no source point, and the health officials say he could have contracted it from outside or within the hospital.

Head of Health Protection, Doctor Alisha Sahukhan says the current time frame is very important for the future of our country.

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“And we keep doing these testing in the community as well, just in case there are cases in the community that pop up that have no links. This case that just come up in Lautoka Hospital is one such case. That is why we doing so much testing and why we doing so much screening, because we want to find these cases now. And as we have said so many times, right now is the most critical time, this is the time we can have control over it.”

Health Permanent Secretary, Doctor James Fong, says the man’s described timeline and the recent deterioration in his condition indicate he is likely a late-stage carrier of the virus.

He is also suspected to have passed the virus to the doctors, who tested positive in Lautoka earlier this week.

The man had also not given his consent to be swabbed for COVID-19 when he developed some respiratory symptoms after his surgical procedure nine days earlier.

“From a statistical standpoint, ICU cases –– like the one we now have –– may be a red flag for widespread transmission. Essentially, it tells us that there are likely many more cases of the virus out there. We have dreaded a worst-case scenario such as this since the day of our first case in March of last year. Through that time, we have also gone to great lengths to prepare for it. Those months of planning have informed an immediate whole-of-government course of action”.

The Lautoka Hospital is now a tightly-contained, full-time COVID care facility.

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