3 new COVID19 cases, and extension of containment areas demarcation

Fiji’s Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr James Fong announced three new cases today in a national address in which he also revealed the extension of the Suva, Nausori and Lami containment areas for at least another week.

The three new cases are linked to case 136, the man from Saru, Lautoka who presented with COVID-like symptoms to the Natabua Healthcentre and tested positive on Friday. Confirmed positive are his wife, his daughter and a primary contact of his wife. 

All three have been in isolation since Saturday 8 May. Work continues to locate and quarantine their close contacts. At this stage, all other known primary contacts relating to the three have tested negative.

As for the containment areas of Suva, Nausori and Lami, Dr Fong said that it would be extended for at least another week as per their investigations around new cases that have arisen. Nadi and Lautoka restrictions are reset to the new lockdown measures with Lautoka Hospital.

“We’re listening very closely to the story our screening and testing is telling us. It may extend further, and measures themselves could become more stringent. At the moment, no policy response is off the table –– including targeted lockdowns of certain areas and even a lockdown of the whole of Viti Levu. If this happens, it will be announced with a deliberate, well-informed, and detailed plan.”

Dr James Fong

Discussions are also ongoing between the ministries of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport and Economy and industry partners on COVID-safe risk assessments to explore how and when some industries may operate in carefully-managed ways within containment areas.

“The careFIJI contact tracing app will be paramount to these operations. Every Fijian must install it and keep it running, every business should encourage its employees and customers to do so. With every new case, our contact tracers are stretched further and the imperative of widespread adoption of careFiji grows,” Dr Fong said.

“We’ll be announcing early next week how our containment protocols will cater for more COVID-safe essential business operations.”

The ministry also announced the recovery of two more patients today, bringing the total number of active cases to 38 active cases, seven of which are border quarantine, 26 locally transmitted and 5 are under investigation as to the link and source of transmission.

Other pointers as per update by Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr James Fong

  • Those who moved from contaminant areas in Viti Levu yesterday to non-containment areas must remain self isolated for 14 days. Please call 158 to identify yourself.
  • 150-bed non-Covid Field hospital has been set up.
  • From 4am tomorrow, Monday 10 May, authorities will be lifting the lockdown of Wainitarawau settlement in Cunningham and Vuniwai settlement in Taveuni.
  • If a further lockdown occurs it will be part of a detailed plan to mitigate the economic impacts of a lockdown.
  • Press Conferences will be held several times a week to field questions from the media – particularly after major policy announcements.
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