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Australian Tourist Who Died At Lautoka Hospital Didn’t Have Coronavirus Says Permanent Secretary For Health

“The tourist did not have any travel history to China, he boarded from Australia and he had not travelled out of Australia for 20 years,” Ms Welch said.
14 Feb 2020 15:10
Australian Tourist Who Died At Lautoka Hospital Didn’t Have Coronavirus Says Permanent Secretary For Health

The Australian tourist who passed away at the Lautoka Hospital was tested negative for the novel coronavirus before passing away on February 11.

While many speculations are circulating that the death may be due to the virus, it was not, confirmed the Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services, Bernadette Welch yesterday.

Ms Welch said the tourist was from Australia and was onboard the cruise ship Voyager of the Sea, which arrived at the Port of Lautoka on February 10 and Port of Suva on February 11.

“The tourist did not have any travel history to China, he boarded from Australia and he had not travelled out of Australia for 20 years,” Ms Welch said.

“He had been feeling unwell on the ship and prior to boarding and on arrival in Lautoka they immediately transferred him to the Intensive Care Unit,” she said.

“He had tested positive for the flu on the ship but we got him tested for coronavirus even though he did not meet our case definition.

“He tested negative for coronavirus.”

The tourist passed away because he had already been seriously ill when he got into the cruise ship.

On cruise ships to Fiji

Meanwhile, Ms Welch said there were positioned border control measures in place by the ministry to counter any risk of the novel coronavirus in Fiji.

She made this statement following the ban of four international cruise ships into Tonga on February 12 because of fears surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

Two of the cruise vessels that were refused entry into Tonga will call into the Lautoka and Suva ports today.

“We have a health information card that all visitors to Fiji have to fill out to determine their risk of the novel coronavirus,” she said.

“All cruise liners that come in should present us with details about their passengers, including those who have been sick and may have been a case definition for coronavirus.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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