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Fiji Covid-19: 126 new cases recorded

Lice MovonoRNZ Pacific correspondent in Suva

Fiji continues to record alarming increases of Covid-19 with another 126 more cases and one death of a Covid-19 positive patient now under investigation.

Australian Medical Assistance Team leaving for Fiji.
Australian Medical Assistance Team leaving for Fiji. Photo: NZHC and AUSHC.

Fiji Permanent Health Secretary Dr James Fong said the 59 people have recovered as at 8am Monday.

There are 1542 active cases; there have now been 2020 cases in just over 8 weeks.

Meanwhile the team of Australian and New Zealand medics arrived in Fiji last night and will undergo a shortened quarantine period before the seven-member Australian Medical Assistance Teams (AUSMAT) team begins a 28-day deployment.

The government now no longer provides a breakdown of the cases but the most recent figures show infections in Nadi, in hotels used as quarantine facilities for medical staff who are either part of the response or who have completed shifts at the country’s major hospitals.

Dr Fong said increases in new cases have been from Lami, a town just outside the capital Suva, one of three municipalities hit hardest by this outbreak.

“The ministry is working with other government agencies and the community to establish additional isolation facilities in the Lami area to cater for the positive cases from the area.

“Additional isolation facilities have also been pursued in the Nausori area to complement the current capacities we have, and to cater for positive cases from the Nausori area. Members of the public are advised to continue to practise Covid-19 safe measures to protect themselves, their families, and their communities,” he said.

However Dr Fong said his team can now see community transmission on a geospatial map put together by the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources which itself has also recorded close to 30 cases of Covid-19.

Dr James Fong.
Dr James Fong. Photo: Fiji govt

“An important part of our Covid-19 response was to use various technologies available to us, and these technologies were of immense benefit to our organizing of information for planning, implementation and deployment of our resources.

“One such technology is the use of geospatial information, which greatly assisted my team in organizing information collected from the ground and presented in a map that could be understood by my team and those on the ground.”

The Covid-19 dashboard allows users to view the case spread which Dr Fong said should give the “public situational awareness of where the active cases are, and follow the relevant safety guidelines put in place by my ministry to protect themselves and their families.”

The latest death is a 42-year-old male Covid-19 patient who was admitted for leptospirosis and tested positive for the disease during his admission. His death is still being investigated to determine if it was caused or accelerated by Covid-19.

Meanwhile another 50,000 of the AstraZeneca vaccines have arrived into the country restarting vaccination at 28 sites and five mobile teams on Viti Levu.

Lockdown

A 48-hour lockdown is in force for a Fijian settlement near the capital Suva amid the Covid-19 crisis in the country.

The restriction came into effect at 4am today local time and will end at 4am on Thursday.

The Health Ministry said the aim of locking down Qauia Settlement in Lami is to conduct rapid screening, tracing, swabbing and quarantine or isolation of cases of interest in the area.

Lami Town is one of the fastest-growing clusters in the country with dozens of positive people already confirmed there.

The ministry said the lockdown was also an opportunity to check for Covid-19-like symptoms and travel/movement histories that may have put residents in the path of Fijians living with the coronavirus.

Fiji has over 1500 active cases in isolation and five deaths reported since the April outbreak.

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