COVID-19 claims fourth victim, as authorities announce four more cases

COVID19 today claimed its fourth victim in Fiji, and the second in the current outbreak following the death of a woman from the recent cluster in Makoi where two more people have been confirmed positive for coronavirus, one of whom is a staff of the Fiji Centre for Disease Control (Fiji CDC) who infected two others.

Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong said the woman was entered into intensive care after her condition began deteriorating rapidly.

“Despite the best efforts of her attending physicians, she has passed away,” Dr Fong said.

The first person to have died in the current outbreak was a 53-year-old man of Lautoka who was Fiji’s case 125. He died last week, on Wednesday 5 May 2021.

An optimistic Dr Fong said the war against the virus is “still winnable”, if everyone stayed home effectively killing the virus.

“Physical distance –– of at least two metres –– can stop the spread. Masks, when worn widely by everyone, can stop the spread. Good hand washing can kill the virus. But nothing –– I repeat, nothing –– kills the virus more assuredly than staying at home. If everyone stays home, the virus will have nowhere to travel. Eventually, it will die. If everyone respects the rules we have in place, the virus will die.”

On the four new cases, the first from Makoi was presented to Oceania Hospital with symptoms, prompting the facility’s closure yesterday for contact tracing and decontamination.

“At this early stage of the investigation this case has no known links to other cases. Anyone who potentially had contact with this case at the hospital has been quarantined.”

The other case from Makoi is an administration staff member of Fiji CDC.

“According to Fiji CDC protocol he was tested after returning this week from annual leave. The next two cases are administrative staff at the Fiji CDC who had tested negative during routine testing earlier this week, but tested positive as part of contact tracing for this new case.” 

The three CDC staff have been transferred to isolation facilities. 

“Our investigations so far indicate that this cluster originated outside of the Fiji CDC and the virus was then brought in –– as would be an expected consequence of community transmission. Apart from these three cases, all other Fiji CDC staff have tested negative so far, including all of the laboratory and medical staff in the centre.” 

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