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Health Ministry seeks appropriate advice on mass gatherings

December 16, 2019 6:29 am

The Health Ministry is seeking appropriate legal advice on mass gatherings in light of the measles outbreak.

There are now twenty-one cases of measles with two new cases emerging from Nasilai Village in Nakelo, Rewa and Saumakia Village in Naitasiri.

The latest confirmed cases are a 13-year-old and a 27-year-old who have previously been in contact with confirmed measles cases.

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The Health Ministry has been advising against mass gatherings through-out the country as a lot of events are planned during the festive season.

Minister for Health Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete says the Ministry’s advisory against mass gatherings still remains.

“Most important thing to remember is that whilst an adult can pick up measles and have measles, it is the children that are dying so it is incumbent on all of us to protect our children and I think we must understand that the advisory still stays .”

Concerns have been raised that despite the advisory, certain organizations are still going ahead with their events.

The Health Minister is warning that this could have legal repercussions.

“There are legal aspects to it under the Public Health Act 1932. At the moment we are seeking appropriate legal advice about what can happen, what cannot happen. I think there is a lot of maturity within the country and we keep on advising around making sure that we don’t have any mass gathering.”

The Ministry says measles can spread very easily among large groups of people if they are not immune, who can then take the disease back into their communities.

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