Bainimarama blames ‘protocol breach’ for second Fiji community covid case

Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama
Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama ... “Her movement ... makes further transmissions in the community highly likely.” Image: FBC News

By Praneeta Prakash in Suva

Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says a breach in protocol in relation to the 53-year-old woman now testing positive of covid-19 should not have happened.

The woman who was working as a maid in a border quarantine facility developed symptoms last Thursday, but continued working and failed to notify authorities.

The woman who tested positive for covid-19 today has a “highly transmissible” case.

“Our investigation has revealed that she had an interaction with the soldier when he showed up early to his room as it was being cleaned.

“Protocol dictates that overlap should not have happened, that is why the woman was not tested before re-entering the public. We have to wait and see what further is revealed in the investigation.”

Bainimarama said the woman, who was a daytime worker, had travelled between Nadi and Lautoka and also attended a funeral in Tavakubu in Lautoka on Friday and Saturday.

“Perhaps most worryingly she attended a funeral in Tavakubu, Lautoka on Friday and Saturday traveling alongside other passengers by minivan.

“Her movement using public transport and her attendance in close proximity alongside many other Fijians at the two-day funeral makes further transmissions in the community highly likely.”

Fiji ‘faced with danger’
The Prime Minister said Fiji was faced with danger and the breach in the protocol should not have been repeated.

He said to limit the risk of mass transmission, authorities had established containment areas in Nadi and Lautoka and from Qeleloa, Vakabuli, and the Waiwai crossing bearing towards Ba.

Bainimarama said new stringent health protection measures had come into effect.

He said the Ministry of Health and Medical Services personnel and disciplined forces had rapidly established screening points at this entry point.

Praneeta Prakash is a multimedia journalist with FBC News.

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