NEWS

Fiji’s Nadi Hospital Ward In Isolation Mode

A notice pasted on the ward’s door reads, “Do not enter without authorisation. From management”.
07 Jun 2019 11:31
Fiji’s Nadi Hospital Ward In Isolation Mode
The paying ward of Nadi Hospital on June 6, 2019. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Members of the public are not allowed to enter Nadi Hospital’s Paying Ward after the mysterious deaths of an American couple and the admission of five locals who came into contact with them.

A notice pasted on the ward’s door reads, “Do not enter without authorisation. From management”.

A sign on the door of the paying ward of Nadi Hospital on June 6, 2019. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

A sign on the door of the paying ward of Nadi Hospital on June 6, 2019. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

There are eight beds in the ward and only one was occupied when a check was made by a Fiji Sun team last night.

Contact

Only the hospital staff are allowed inside the ward as a policewoman who came in contact with the couple recovers there.

She was admitted on Monday, days after the deaths of the American couple last week.

Two nurses and two security officers who had also come in contact with the couple were discharged within the past few days.

James Paul, 38, an engineer with US global aerospace, defence and security firm Lockheed Martin Corporation, and his wife, Jane Michelle Canalog Paul, 35, were staying at a hotel on Denarau, Nadi, when they mysteriously fell ill and died.

Admitted

A senior staff member at Nadi Hospital said last night that the two nurses and two security officers who were discharged were admitted as a precautionary measure.

“As usual, this was a precautionary measure that was taken because it is unknown at this moment what happened to the US couple,” the staff member said.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Police, other agencies and US authorities are also carrying out investigations into the mysterious deaths of the couple.

Police said they were working with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to find out what caused the two deaths and also affected those who came in contact with the couple.

The couple were staying at the hotel after arriving in the country on May 22 and were expected to depart Fiji on May 27.

They suddenly fell ill and were taken to a medical clinic. Mrs Paul died on May 25. Mr Paul died three days later at Lautoka Hospital.

Police said their post-mortem examination reports have been sent overseas for further analysis.

Investigation

The Health Ministry has ruled out the cause of deaths as influenza.

Meanwhile, a report by the American news-based pay television channel CNN said the deaths were confirmed by a US State Department official, who said in a statement that American authorities were “closely monitoring” the investigation.

It said the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) received a request for assistance from the Ministry of Health in Fiji regarding the death of an American couple in Fiji of an unidentified illness.

“CDC is working with the government to investigate, including receiving specimens for testing in CDC laboratories. As per protocol, we will share results with the Fiji Ministry of Health when available,” a statement said.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj

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