NEWS

Ministry Rules Out Infectious Disease

The ministry’s comments may come as a relief to tourists who have been planning on or considering coming to Fiji, but were feeling anxious after the Pauls’ death.
21 Jun 2019 10:00
Ministry Rules Out Infectious Disease
James Paul with his wife, Jane Michelle Canalog Paul.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services says it is confident there is no risk to the public after the deaths of Americans David and Michelle Paul late last month.

In a statement, the ministry confirmed that infectious disease has been ruled out as a cause of death and that the five individuals who had been placed under observation are in good health.

The statement said that the conclusion was reached after various investigations were conducted by the ministry and other international organisations, which included post-mortem examinations, toxicology, microscopic examination of tissues and laboratory investigations.

The ministry’s comments may come as a relief to tourists who have been planning on or considering coming to Fiji, but were feeling anxious after the Pauls’ death.

A search on the American travel site TripAdvisor revealed some forums for Fiji from the month of June had comments from users expressing concern about whether or not Fiji was a safe destination in light of the Pauls’ deaths.

“We are headed there (Fiji) next week and are very concerned. It’s hard to determine what to do without more evidence being released and without outside-Fiji officials doing some investigative work,” said one TripAdvisor user.

“I’ve read quite a bit of news on trying to protect tourism, which is concerning when it comes to what information is shared with the public.”

Another user, Jane Denton, said: “I’ve been reading of the couple who tragically died this weekend from a virus while staying at Denarau, am feeling quite anxious about our family holiday there in a few weeks. Does anyone have any further information should we be worried?”

A number of other users urged others not to jump to conclusions before the American couple’s cause of death was revealed.

Others were worried by the lack of specific information that had been released, a concern that hasn’t quite been put to rest given that the ministry and other international entities involved in the investigations have yet to release the couple’s cause of death.

Investigations have been ongoing for nearly three weeks and testing will continue says the ministry.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: sydnee.gonzalez@fijisun.com.fj

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