Fiji’s records first COVID19 death

A 66 year old Fijian man who underwent cardiac surgery in India is Fiji’s first death by COVID19 complications.

Despite the best efforts of local health workers, the elderly gentlemen who was repatriated along with 107 others on July 1, died yesterday at the Lautoka Hospital.

Health Minister Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete announced the death in the past hour by first making assurances there was still no risk of community transmission.

“As we announced on the 20th of July, we have so far confirmed nine cases of COVID19 among a number of our citizens who were repatriated from India on the 1st of July.”

“All of these cases are border quarantine cases meaning they have zero interaction with the public. They have been held securely in military monitored isolation facilities since their diagnosis and we have not confirmed any new cases.”

Acting Permanent Secretary for health Dr. James Fong confirmed that while the remaining active cases are in stable condition, there are still five others who have serious existing serious conditions.

“There are five cases out of the ones that were positive that had significant comorbidities that required some treatment in India,” Dr. Fong said.

The health minister reiterated the government was committed to bringing home Fijian nationals who were still abroad because it was confident with COVID19 border control measures.

“I can tell you our staff at the Ministry of Health and Medical Services are devastated over this loss as well. It is important to note that this gentlemen contracted the virus while in India, a country which is in the midst of a large scale outbreak of COVID19,” Dr. Waqainabete said.

“We were able to bring him home to Fiji, safely diagnose him and treat the severity of his condition as well as it could be treated.”

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