Breakthrough COVID-19 cases amongst travellers to North of Fiji

Nearly nine per cent of around 700 people who travelled to the North between 20 October and 26 October returned “results of concern” despite having tested negative prior to their departure.

Of the 60 who returned positive results, 10 are said to be potentially infectious and have been isolated and their primary contacts subsequently placed on home quarantine.

“A further 31 cases are considered non-infectious or at very low risk of being infectious. A further 19 cases were weakly positive however we await repeat test results from the Fiji CDC laboratory while they remain under home quarantine,” the ministry of health said in its latest COVID-19 advisory.

Furthermore the ministry’s northern medical team is working with the team from the Commissioner Northern’s office and the Ministry of Economy regarding provision of rations for cases and family members on restricted movement protocol.

Next Tuesday, Minister for Health Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete will lead a team to the North comprising personnel from various ministries to help fast-track second dose coverage in the division particularly in Bua.

“This will include a special dispensation to reduce vaccination interval to 6 weeks for AstraZeneca. Furthermore, all clinical support measures to mitigate the increase in COVID 19 cases and cases with severe COVID-19 have been set up with emphasis on Nabouwalu and  Labasa Hospitals.”

The vaccination coverage for the North stands at more than 90% for the first dose and more than 75% for the second dose.

“We are currently reconciling this data with repatriating Northerners who received vaccines on Viti Levu however we remain on track to get beyond 80 per cent before 11 November. As reported on Monday, the second dose vaccination coverage for the Bua sub-division remains a concern based on the MOH vaccination coverage data.”

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