Latest covid case in Fiji remains a concern and health chief warns

Fiji's health
Fiji's health "call to arms" ... today's Fiji Times front page report. Image: APR screenshot

RNZ Pacific

One of Fiji’s latest two cases of covid-19 remains a concern for health authorities.

The Health Ministry said a 53-year-old caretaker from the town of Rakiraki would require further investigation into his contacts to determine whether he is linked to other covid-19 patients.

Health Secretary Dr James Fong, who was reported by The Fiji Times today as issuing a warning to the public, said the man showed symptoms of the virus when he visited the health centre on Saturday.

Dr Fong said the man was being isolated at Lautoka Hospital.

He said the other latest case was linked to a woman who contracted the virus from her husband, a worker at the MIQ facility in Nadi.

“There are others out there who may have been in contact with this individual. We need all Fijians living in the Rakiraki area to be alert of any potential covid-19 symptoms and if they are feeling unwell, follow this man’s example.”

Either visit your nearest screening clinic or dial 158 for the Ministry of Health officials to come and check on you,” he said.

Three people charged
Three people have appeared in court over charges relating to a breach of the Public Health Act.

The trio’s arrest on Tuesday came as the authorities warned that a surge in covid-19 cases on the main island of Viti Levu threatens 60 percent of the country’s population.

Dr Aalisha SahuKhan and Dr James Fong.
Fiji health officials Dr Aalisha SahuKhan (left) and Health Secretary Dr James Fong. Image: RNZ/Facebook/Fiji govt

Police say the three men were found intoxicated in Suva during the lockdown restrictions imposed since Monday.

Dr Fong said following basic safety measures could save lives.

“Even if we are not showing any symptom of the virus we need to behave as if we have got covid-19. By doing so and thereby wearing masks, staying at home and turning on your careFiji App you will be saving lives.

“With every new case, this crisis brings new and more personal meaning for more Fijians. Not only for Fijian members but for neighbors and the entire community,” said Dr Fong.

Fiji has 111 covid-19 cases, 44 active with 26 of them locally-transmitted cases.

There have been 65 recoveries and two deaths reported since the country’s first case was detected on March 19 last year.

‘Start listening’ appeal
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said Fijians needed to start listening to all advisories and take immediate action to safeguard themselves from the B1617 variant of covid-19.

The WHO acting head of the Pacific, Dr Akeem Ali, said Fijians needed to take heed and work to protect themselves.

He told FBC News that the impact of the variant on India showed that Fijians needed to be prepared.

Dr Ali said people must be attentive to directions and the advice given by the government.

He said when authorities say stay at home, it means stay at home, when they say wear masks, it means wear masks.

Dr Ali said the need for beds, ventilators and other equipment to fight the virus had become paramount, and the WHO stood ready to assist.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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