By Josefa Babitu in Suva
As Fiji continues to battle the novel coronavirus outbreak, good news has emerged as three Fijians who contracted the virus have now fully recovered, according to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.
The Prime Minister confirmed this after two tests were conducted by the Health Ministry.
“These Fijians have tested negative for the virus twice, with over 24 hours in between tests,” he said during a press conference in Suva on Monday.
“We should celebrate these recoveries. But we should do so knowing Fiji’s recovery from this virus is still months’ away at best. We can get there – we will get there – day by day, test by test, and recovery by recovery.”
He said the trio along with others who had tested negative for the virus would be released under strict supervision.
“Out of an abundance of caution, they will remain under supervised home quarantine for 14 days,” he said.
Meanwhile, a 51-year-old woman is the country’s latest patient after showing Covid-19 like symptoms. She had completed 14 days mandatory quarantine after returning from the United States.
“The results of her test make it likely this patient has been carrying Covid-19 for weeks. Luckily, our contact tracing, which began as soon as she was first tested on April 18, identifies her as a low-risk transmitter.
“This patient shares a home with three others – all three have tested negative for the virus. Regardless, they have all been placed in isolation.
“We’ve traced and identified her other casual contacts; they have all been entered into compulsory home quarantine,” Bainimarama said.
The Prime Minister reiterated that the adherence of Fijians to government measures was vital.
“Too many Fijians are still behaving as if the virus isn’t among us. Thank God, there are no deaths due to the virus in Fiji. But if people keep crowding in public places, gathering socially, or otherwise acting like these are normal times, there’s no question, we will lose lives.
“The possibility of a 24-hour curfew is not off the table –– the power to avoid that drastic alternative rests with every Fijian watching, listening to or reading this address. So, please, do the right thing today, and spare us suffering down the road.
“All of us need to seize ownership over our health and by taking responsibility for the laws designed to keep this virus at bay.”
Josefa Babitu is a second-year journalism student at the University of the South Pacific’s Laucala campus. He is also a student reporter for Wansolwara, USP Journalism’s student training newspaper and online publication. Wansolwara articles are republished by the Pacific Media Centre in partnership with USP.