Woman, 50, tests positive for COVID-19, brings to 9 Fiji active cases

A 50-year-old woman who was among passengers on the repatriation flight from India early this month has tested positive for COVID-19, bringing to nine the country’s total active cases.

She was a passenger on the flight that arrived in Nadi on July 1, making her the country’s ninth border quarantine case. She is also the only other passenger to test positive for the virus in the second round of testing in Fiji . The second round of tests was done at the completion of their 14-day mandatory period. Other passengers were also tested at the end of their 14-day quarantine, returned negative results, cleared and have since been released.

Meanwhile, the woman remains at the isolation facility at Lautoka Hospital and is currently asymptomatic.

In a statement, acting Permanent Secretary Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong said the 50-year-old is also the wife of one of the earlier announced border quarantine cases from the same flight. 

“When her husband tested positive they were both moved from the government designated quarantine facility to the isolation facility at Lautoka Hospital. She had tested negative on the first round of testing conducted for all passengers, but tested positive during the second round of testing. As she is close contact of a known case it is not unexpected that she has also tested positive.”

Acting Permanent Secretary Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong

According to Dr Fong, all passengers including the nine active cases underwent three tests – one before departing India and two in Fiji – soon after arrival into Fiji and the third, by the end of the mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

All passengers except the nine returned negative results. 

“All the passengers on the flight were kept under strict border quarantine conditions from the moment they arrived, including completing 14 days quarantine in government designated quarantine facilities, where they are supervised by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and screened daily for symptoms by staff from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services. They were cleared and released at the end of the 14-day quarantine period,” Dr Fong said.

As an added precaution, Dr Fong said frontline staff at the border quarantine facilities holding these passengers were also tested for COVID-19 – “all have tested negative”. 

“I will again re-emphasize here: so long as our border quarantine and infection prevention control protocols are upheld there is no risk to the Fijian public from border quarantine cases.”

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