5 new COVID-19 cases in Fiji

After 605 tests in the last 24 hours Fiji is reporting five new cases of COVID-19.

According to the Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr James Fong, the first two are close household contacts of previously announced cases, and they have tested positive while secure in quarantine facilities.

One is the 25-year-old wife of the case who stayed in Vunimono, Nausori and the other is his 52-year-old aunt.

Dr Fong told a press conference this evening that the third case is a former border quarantine passenger who arrived from Papua New Guinea into Nadi on Friday April 9th.

“He had three negative pre-departure tests before leaving PNG, and tested negative twice while in the Tanoa Hotel border quarantine, before being discharged on April 23rd. He was reswabbed in Navua as part of our investigations into the quarantine breaches at the Tanoa facility, and has subsequently tested positive. He is now in quarantine. We can confirm that he had contact with case number 95 -- the husband living in Makoi -- on the day of his discharge from the Tanoa quarantine facility. Again this case shows just how punishing any lapses in protocol can be, in particular when you’re dealing with a highly-transmissible variant of this virus.”

Authorities have identified 98 people who were discharged from the Tanoa border quarantine facility between April 12th and April 25th, 82 of these people have been contacted and told to home quarantine.

Dr Fong said repeat testing of these people is underway, and the remaining 16 are being contacted.

The fourth case is a 68 year old male in Rakiraki. He tested positive after presenting to the Rakiraki hospital outpatients department with a cough and fever.

The ministry is yet to establish any direct link between this case and existing cases.

The fifth case tested is a border quarantine case of a 23-year-old male who travelled from Guyana to Fiji, arriving April 22nd on NZ952 from Auckland.

He tested positive while undergoing mandatory 14 day quarantine at a border quarantine facility in Nadi.

Dr Fong said contact tracing for these new cases is underway.

A massive operation is underway tonight to test workers of two garments factories outside of Suva,

“We are most concerned with the aunt from Vunimono, as she worked in a garment factory. Her place of work has been shut down since we announced our restrictions on Monday, and we are screening everyone she’s worked with while she may have been contagious. We have contacted the management of the factory she worked in, and the factory next door, and these managers have agreed to work together with us to ensure that their workers are urgently screened tonight. Our plan tonight is to have my teams go house-to-house and swab as many of them as possible -- at least 80% if we can. As that investigation progresses, the same principles as always apply -- health restrictions may expand or become more stringent lockdown measures, and that could start as soon as tomorrow evening, “ Dr Fong said.


Photo supplied Fijian Government  Caption: Dr James Fong, Permanent Secretary for Health