5 new cases as 7000 backlogged samples return negative results

Five more coronavirus cases were recorded as of 4 pm today as Fiji’s Ministry of Health confirms that all but one of the 7,000 backlogged samples that was processed in Australia came back negative, an outcome they described as “not unexpected.”

Four of the five newly announced cases were reported from two households, both located within the Muanikoso containment zone and the fifth is a close contact of the Samabula cluster.

Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong said the four in Muanikoso were picked up as part of the mass screening taking place in the area. The Samabula case is an employee of a catering group that was providing food after a funeral gathering held at the Samabula cluster household.

Of the negative backlogged results, Dr Fong said the results of all but one of the 7,000 samples was inconclusive and needed to be retested.

“The high number of negative results is not unexpected as the majority of samples that were backlogged, and then shipped to Australia in this batch of 7,000, were from outside the containment areas, including a large number of samples from the Northern Division,” Dr Fong said.

The results the authorities appear to be awaiting anxiously is the balance of the 11,000 samples, i.e. 4000 that are still being processed in Australia.

“We are awaiting results from another 4,000 swab samples undergoing testing in Australia. The majority of samples in this second batch are from the containment areas of Suva, Nasinu, Nausori, Nadi and Lautoka.”

Dr Fong

Meanwhile, the latest five cases bring to 97 total active cases in isolation.

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