Fiji records two new border quarantine covid cases – national total 21

Acting Permanent Health Secretary Dr James Fong ... "This is a new normal because we cannot turn our back on our own citizens." Image: FBC News

By Koroi Tadulala in Suva

Fiji has recorded two new border quarantine cases of covid-19 coronavirus.

Both patients are Fiji citizens on a flight from India. This takes the total confirmed cases in the country to 21, but the previous 18 have since recovered.

The Health Ministry said one patient was a 37-year-old man who was the son of the man, 66, confirmed as covid-19 positive yesterday.

WATCH: Fiji government video on Dr Fong’s media conference on Facebook

The 37-year-old and his father have been transferred to Lautoka Hospital to remain in isolation.

The other confirmed case is a 36-year-old woman who developed mild symptoms of the virus and was tested positive this morning.

All these patients returned from India on a repatriation flight last week.

Acting Permanent Secretary for the Health Ministry Dr James Fong said the rest of the 105 passengers would be tested tomorrow.

Dr Fong and the Head of Health Protection, Dr Aalisha Sahu Khan, addressed Fijians who have been critical about returning Fijians, saying Fiji must be ready to receive people who have been stuck overseas for months.

Dr Fong reaffirmed that as long as the covid-19 pandemic “lingered”, Fiji could not lose sight of its humanity.

‘Have compassion’ plea
“As long as we continue to welcome back our own citizens from nations with large scale outbreaks we will continue to find cases at our border. This is a new normal because we cannot turn our back on our own citizens. Not to our people.”

Dr Sahukhan said those who criticise their fellow citizens returning home must be aware of the repercussions of their actions, behavior and comments towards those in quarantine.

“We urge you, please have some compassion for our returning citizens. Put yourself in their shoes, imagine if it was your parents.”

Koroi Tadulala is a senior multimedia journalist with FBC News.

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