12 more cases of COVID19 recorded in Makoi

Three supermarkets in the Central Division were closed off today based on the travel history of two of Fiji’s 12 new local COVID19 cases, in a trend that the Fijian Government describes as worrying and has considered possible responses including the full lockdown of Viti Levu.

The 12 cases, all stemming from the country’s case 140 involving a woman from Kalokalo crescent whose status was announced yesterday, comprise four from her own household, seven from an adjoining home and one is a secondary contact. All 12 have been placed in isolation.

 “As mentioned yesterday, case 140 presented to the Makoi Health Center and was immediately treated as a suspected case by the medical staff, who then provided care in full personal protective equipment. And once she tested positive that same day, we quickly were able to identify the people with whom that person had come in close contact with” Permanent Secretary for Health Dr. James Fong said.

The three supermarkets, two in Makoi and one in Suva, are currently undergoing decontamination and all employees are being tested. The supermarkets will reopen once authorities have completed the decontamination process.

Dr. Fong reiterated the call for Fijians to keep their bubbles exclusive to close household contacts only. This is after seven (7) of the new cases resided in a home adjoining the home of case 140, which indicated that the two bubbles were interacting outside of their bubbles.

“The contact between this individual and the members of an adjoining household is troubling, and it should serve as a learning opportunity for all of us. Our bubbles must be limited to our households,” said Dr. Fong.

The Health Ministry has been working closely with permanent secretaries from various Government agencies, and the private sector in planning for various scenarios in response to the worrying rise of cases and clusters, the full lockdown of Viti Levu is one scenario that is being discussed.

“For that lockdown to be decisive, it must be well planned, and prolonged enough to last for the entire incubation period and more,” said Dr. Fong.

“I want to ensure the public that if we do take the lockdown rout, they will be given ample notice. Not hours, but days to prepare and for government to allocate resources appropriately.”

Click here for a summary of today’s COVID19 update

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