12 Fijians with COVID19

TWELVE people have COVID19 after five were confirmed overnight in what has been the biggest number of cases reported so far since Fiji’s first case was announced March 19.

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama made the announcement earlier this afternoon April 4 not mincing his words to get to the point of the simple message: ”I want you to stay home!”

Nadi and Labasa have now recorded their first cases of the novel coronavirus COVID19.

The latest confirmed cases include a 57 year old from Soasoa, Labasa who upon return from India infected his 33 year old son and his son’s wife, both of whom were confirmed as patients 6 and 7 on Thursday.

The couple’s daughter, who had been taken into isolation with her parents earlier in the week, was among those confirmed today as having tested positive for COVID19.

Meanwhile the Labasa patient who was listed as patient nine today, was taken into isolation earlier this week with his daughter-in-law and his grandson.

His daughter in law has also tested positive for COVID19 while a second round of tests are being run on his grandson to determine if he has the coronavirus.

Meanwhile in Lautoka, the 39 year old sister of patient number five, the woman who attended a Zumba class with patient one, has also tested positive for COVID19. She had been isolated along with patient five as part of the contact tracing exercise, and developed symptoms while in quarantine.

In Nadi, a 20 year old who returned from Auckland on March 22 and put herself under quarantine tested positive for COVID19 on April 2. She is the first case out of Nadi and is a new cluster of the disease.

Bainimarama said that while the Labasa patient defied government directives, on the other hand, the behaviour of the first Nadi patient has spared the gateway town the fate of Suva and Lautoka.

“This patient did not declare any symptoms when returning from travel, and did not follow the directive of entering into government-mandated home quarantine –– a compulsory requirement for all those returning to the country from abroad that came into effect on the 19th of March,” PM Bainimarama said.

“We’re all grateful this young woman displayed the same diligence and compassion as that young man from Nadera as she placed herself into quarantine, and stayed there. She was brought food that was dropped off at her door, and she refrained from coming into contact with others. Her good habits have spared Nadi from a total lockdown.”

Contact tracing consisting of medical and military teams continue the search for all those that patient nine might have been in contact with including people at car garages he visited and fellow passengers on the ferry he travelled on from Natovi Jetty to Nabouwalu Jetty on Vanua Levu on March 27.

“All Fijians living with COVID-19 are in stable condition.”

“That means in total, we’ve confirmed five new cases of the coronavirus overnight. This is our single largest jump in cases in a day. Week over week, our new case numbers have doubled.”

He said that while in the early days the virus presence in the country may spread slowly, “the spike in case numbers can hit hard and fast.”

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