Raiwaqa Health Centre resumes operation today after the all-clear from Fiji’s Ministry of Health which has screened over 360,000 Fijians and swabbed more than 17,000 people in just over two weeks.
MOH Chief Medical Advisor Dr Jemesa Tudravu said the health centre reopens with a new staffing team. The initial team has been sidelined to observe their 14-day quarantine after one of the nurses tested positive for COVID19 last week.
The screenings were carried out at MOH’s 57 stationary and mobile clinics located around Fiji, and yesterday alone, attended to 17,104 individuals who were screened of which 242 were also swabbed.
“The speed and the scale of our screening work very well, we go door to door checking for symptoms and confirming that people have not been in close contact with COVID positive patients,” said Permanent Secretary for Health Dr. James Fong.
However, screening once is not enough says Dr. Fong as some individuals may show no symptoms or test negative on one day, then test positive the next day due to the uncertain nature the virus and its fourteen-day incubation period.
“So, communities that have been screened should expect to be screened again. That is necessary for us to give everyone the confidence that we are doing all that we can to identify people who need to be isolated, so they can stop the spread of the virus, and where, if necessary, they can receive the appropriate treatment,” said Dr. Fong.
Data and results gathered via the screenings will determine whether or not to extend the containment areas and/or implement more stringent measures including a targeted lockdown of certain areas or a whole lockdown of Viti Levu.
“If this happens it will be announced with a deliberate, well informed, and detailed plan” said Dr. Fong.
Ongoing investigations of the active cases in Suva have indicated to the Health Ministry that the Suva-Lami-Nausori containment zone stays in effect for at least another week.
Meanwhile, 52 individuals are housed in two community isolation facilities where they are being cared for and are well, says Dr. Tudravu.