Fiji 1 of 4 countries in the Pacific now able to test for COVID-19
March 11, 2020 12:55 pm
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the Fiji Centre for Disease Control in Suva [Source: Fijian Government]
Fiji now has state-of-the-art facilities capable of testing for COVID-19, one of only four in the Pacific.
The Fiji Centre for Disease Control in Suva was commissioned by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama this morning, meaning results from Coronavirus testing can be available within six to eight hours.
Bainimarama says given the spread of the virus around the world, it is vital for Fiji to be prepared.
“We’re blessed to have been spared so far, but with the majority of countries reporting cases we need to prepare as a matter of when not if we will see the first case here in Fiji. That’s why I urge all Fijians to act with utmost precaution and exercise the habits and hygiene necessary to stop the spread.”
The Centre, in Tamavua Suva, is able to conduct molecular testing for a range of diseases, but the focus right now is COVID-19.
Health Minister Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete says the threat of COVID-19 looms over Fiji and therefore it is vital to have this facility up and running.
The minister adds that they have been preparing for any possible cases of COVID-19 which includes identifying quarantine and isolation facilities around Fiji.
All COVID-19 tests were previously conducted in Melbourne, Australia.