1 COVID death, 4 new cases in Fiji

A woman died of COVID-19 and four people were tested positive for the infectious disease in Fiji.

This evening the country’s Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr James Fong said the woman from the recent Makoi cluster, was entered into intensive care after her condition began rapidly deteriorating.

“Despite the best efforts of her attending physicians, she has passed away.”

The case is Fiji’s second reported death from COVID-19 due to this outbreak.

 Among the new cases reported are three staff of the Fiji Centre for Disease Control.

Dr Fong said the three staff who have tested positive for the virus have been transferred to isolation facilities.

“As a result of these cases, Fiji CDC has been sequestered, with staff onsite, or placed in quarantine facilities. Testing has temporarily halted while decontamination is being completed. The onsite staff will continue processing samples after decontamination of the facility and they will be tested and retested frequently during their sequestration period, similar to what is happening at Lautoka Hospital.”

The fourth case also from Makoi, outside Suva presented to the privately-run Oceania Hospital with symptoms.

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

“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.”

There are currently 52 known active cases of COVID-19 in Fiji.

“Right now, the pandemic in Fiji is only a spark. But if that spark isn’t quickly and aggressively extinguished, a tiny ember is all it takes to start a massive, uncontrollable wildfire that claims thousands of Fijian lives.”

A lockdown of Suva and Nausori announced yesterday to commence from tomorrow night at 11pm until Tuesday morning has been extended.

Dr Fong said given the rapidly rising number of contacts stemming from new cases of COVID-19 in the Suva-Nausori area, that lockdown has been extended until 4am Wednesday, 19 May.


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