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Novel Coronavirus Steering Committee closely monitoring the flu

January 26, 2020 6:50 am

The Health Ministry is currently spearheading a Coronavirus Steering Committee tasked to conduct screening at our border.

The Steering Committee consists of representatives from relevant border, tourism and communications fraternity.

The Health Ministry says border health screening may not absolutely prevent cases from entering the country but can be changed if the need arises.

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The Ministry highlights that a person who has been exposed to the virus may completely be well for up to 14 days before contracting any symptoms of the disease.

With four confirmed cases reported close to home, in Australia, the committee is not wasting time as discussions have started in mapping out strategies to protect our country.

Health Minister Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete says more communication and engagement are needed on this very serious matter.

“I think they’ve come to an agreement of what they want and we want to do it together. It’s not different from what we’ve done with measles but it’s so important that we are meeting on a regular basis and also touching base with one another”.

The Ministry has also alerted its healthcare workers and emphasized that they must ask about the history of travel for anyone that presents with symptoms.

Early detection of cases and rapid response will help prevent spread in Fiji.

There is currently no vaccine against this new disease, but the Ministry is advising Fijians to practice the following hygiene measures which will prevent the spread of the disease.

• Cover your mouth and nose with tissue, sleeve, or elbow when coughing or sneezing.
• Throw tissue into a closed bin after use.
• Clean hands after coughing and sneezing and when caring for the sick.
• Frequently clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
• Avoid contact with persons with flu-like symptoms.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services will continue to monitor the developing situation and adapt the advice accordingly.

Confirmed cases of Coronavirus other than China:

Hong Kong: 5 cases

Thailand: 5 cases

Australia: 4 cases

France: 3 cases

Japan: 3 cases

Malaysia: 3 cases

Singapore: 3 cases

Taiwan: 3 cases

Macao: 2 cases

South Korea: 2 cases

United States: 2 cases

Vietnam: 2 cases

Nepal: 1 case

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