Latest Fiji coronavirus case – taking total to 15 – ‘expected’, says PM

Suva curfew
Fiji police officers on standby at checkpoints around the country. Image: Wansolwara/Fiji Police

By Wansolwara staff

Fiji now has 15 coronavirus cases after a single new case has been confirmed by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

The new case was one of 25 samples that were tested at the molecular lab and is the husband of an existing patient from Lautoka – the Zumba classmate of patient number one.

Bainimarama said on Monday this was a case they had expected for some time, adding the 33-year-old man did not develop any symptoms until after he was safely in isolation and posed no risk to the public.

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“This is the sixth transmission that can be traced back to our first case. There are now 15 cases of Covid-19 in Fiji and all our patients remain in stable condition,” he said.

According to the Prime Minister, the Fijian national who recently travelled to Uruguay and smuggled his way into the Lautoka confined area had tested negative for the virus.

The man caused panic when the fever-screening team discovered his travel history paired with a fever and other symptoms.

‘Raised serious red flags’
“This raised serious red flags and jeopardised the lifting of restrictions in some areas of Lautoka – for those reasons we locked down the Kashmir area in Lautoka where he resided,” Bainimarama said.

“Despite his irresponsible [action], which will still be investigated, he was among the 24 tests that came back negative, meaning all of the Lautoka confined area now has the freedom to move into and out of the area, including Kashmir.

“Lifting of the lockdown does not mean life is going back to normal. The 8pm-5am nationwide curfew applies everywhere. The ban on all social gatherings applies everywhere.

“The requirement to keep a safe distance of two metres applies everywhere. Our police officers are stepping up surveillance in Lautoka from today to make sure no one takes this as an opportunity to skirt any of our directives.”

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