Open borders accounts for increase in COVID cases

May 19, 2022 4:32 pm

Since the re-opening of Fiji’s international border, the Ministry of Health has always anticipated an influx in positive COVID-19 cases.

This comes as Fiji recorded 32 new cases in a 24 hour period earlier this week.

Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong says this will result in the expected ongoing community transmission.

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However, Dr Fong has emphasized that the high vaccination rate throughout the Fijian population has broken the relationship between positive cases of COVID-19 and admissions.

Dr Fong says that while the Ministry is monitoring the active COVID cases, the most important factor they are tracking is the data around admissions.

He adds that as part of their community surveillance, the Health Ministry is testing the COVID status of all admissions.

“And then after that we de-segregate according to admissions for COVID and admissions unrelated to COVID. Those are important indicators to us to tell us what is happening in the community, apart from that we have also increased the amount of testing we have done within the community so that we can get a real idea of the trends that are happening in the community.”

Dr Fong says not only are they testing travelers arriving at the airports, visitor arrivals at Fiji Ports are also being tested for the virus before they disembark.

The PS for Health says the high level of testing will definitely cause a sudden jump in the number of COVID positive cases.