Fiji records second covid outbreak death – 4 new cases include CDC staff

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Dr James Fong 120521
Fiji's Health Secretary Dr James Fong speaking at the media conference at the Ministry of Health headquarters conference room at Dinem House in Toorak, Suva, yesterday. Image: Fiji Govt

By Timoci Vula in Suva

Fiji has recorded its second death from the current outbreak of covid-19 while reporting four more new positive cases – three of them administration staff of the Fiji Centre for Disease Control (CDC).

The death is of a woman from the recent Makoi cluster who was entered into intensive care last night after her condition rapidly deteriorated.

Health Secretary Dr James Fong said the woman’s family had been informed of her death before the national announcement tonight.

The first of the four new cases is from Makoi and presented to Oceania Hospital with symptoms.

“At this early stage of the investigation, this case has no known links to other cases,” Dr Fong said.

“The Oceania Hospital outpatients department was temporarily closed yesterday for contact tracing and decontamination. Anyone who potentially had contact with this case at the hospital has been quarantined.”

The second case is also from Makoi and he is an administration staff member of the Fiji CDC.

Tested after annual leave
Dr Fong said that according to Fiji CDC protocol the man was tested after returning this week from annual leave.

He said the next two cases were also administrative staff at the Fiji CDC who had tested negative during routine testing earlier this week but tested positive as part of contact tracing for this new case.

He added that the three staff members who had tested positive for the virus had been transferred to isolation facilities.

“Our investigations so far indicate that this cluster originated outside of the Fiji CDC and the virus was then brought in – as would be an expected consequence of community transmission,” Dr Fong said.

“Apart from these three cases, all other Fiji CDC staff have tested negative so far, including all of the laboratory and medical staff in the centre.”

Timoci Vula is a Fiji Times reporter.

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