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Ministry keeping close watch on new variants

March 3, 2021 6:00 am

The Ministry of Health is keeping a close watch on the new variants of COVID-19 currently found in Australia and New Zealand and other parts of the world.

With repatriation flights coming into the country the Ministry intends to know the mechanisms on how the new variant is transmitted.

Health Minister, Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete, says they are liaising with the experts in order to remain updated with the impact of the new COVID variants.

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“We note the mechanisms by which the new strains are more transmissible and how they are transmitting. All that discussion people work around it and our scientists work around it. Our experts continue telling us how we can be just a little bit more stringent.”

Dr Waqainabete says last year they had stopped repatriation flights for a week so that frontline workers could undergo processes to strengthen border quarantine.

“For about 7-days we did not have any repatriations flights. Ministry of Health COVID-19 quarantine frontlines actually went through processes to look through and strengthen what we do and actually, after that we went back to repatriation.”

Currently, 766 people are in mandatory 14-day quarantine at government-supervised facilities after returning from overseas.

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