NEWS

Measles Outbreak: Man Quarantined And Coastal Villagers’ Movements Restricted

Mr Delai is the first person in Tailevu to have contracted the disease since the outbreak started. He is the latest victim and brings the number of confirmed measles cases in the nation to 15.
04 Dec 2019 12:18
Measles Outbreak: Man Quarantined And Coastal Villagers’ Movements Restricted
Nasilai villager, Timoci Tabaka, on December 3, 2019, after movement restrictions were imposed on his village. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Lepani Delai and his family attended a birthday party in Nasautadra, Nakelo, Tailevu last Saturday. The following day the Nasilai fisherman, became sick and was later diagnosed with measles.

As a result, his Tailevu village near the coast is on high alert. All the villagers were vaccinated on Monday night and Mr Delai was quarantined in his home.

His wife, Valeriana Sorowale and their four children are staying at a relative’s home.

She said that Mr Delai’s health had improved.

She said at the birthday party they met people who came from as far as Nadroga and Beqa Island.

She said in hindsight they should have listened to the advice of the Ministry of Health against mass gatherings. She believed he might have picked up the bug from there.

Mr Delai is the first person in Tailevu to have contracted the disease since the outbreak started. He is the latest victim and brings the number of confirmed measles cases in the nation to 15.

The turaga-ni-koro (village headman), Veresa Tuisawau said they had taken heed of the Ministry of Health advice.

He said they had enforced the following measures to avoid the spread of measles:

  • Movement in and out of the village is restricted to essential services.
  • The number of people going out and coming in is reduced to a bare minimum.
  • Villagers are required to stay within the village perimeter.
  • For 17 days there will be no gathering or village meetings.
  • Their annual fundraising festival, Nasilai Day, scheduled for December 26, has been postponed indefinitely until further notice.
  • The villagers won’t attend the Micro Mini Awards for village achievers in Suva tomorrow.
  • The picnickers are advised not to visit the beach during this festive season. Historically, this was where Indian indentured labourers were brought ashore after they were rescued from their ship, Leonidas, which ran aground at Nasilai Reef.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health says the 15 cases to date are from the following areas:

  • 11 cases from the Serua/Namosi Subdivision (Wailali, Wainadoi, Navunikabi, and Makosoi Deuba)
  • two cases from Suva (Samabula and Vatuwaqa) Subdivision
  • one case from Rewa (Koronivia,
  • one case fromNasilai Village, Nakelo, Tailevu.

Measles is a highly contagious disease; therefore, non-essential travel to Serua/Namosi and Nasilai Village in Nakelo is strongly discouraged.

To help stop the spread of the disease, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services also advises Fijians to take the following precautions:

Avoid non-essential travel to Serua/Namosi and Nasilai Village. If you need to travel to these areas, please get vaccinated against measles at least two weeks before travel. Please avoid taking those who cannot get vaccinated (e.g. babies under the age of six months and pregnant women) to the outbreak areas.

Avoid holding or attending large gatherings of people, especially in Central Division, but also those that bring participants from across the country or overseas (such as youth camps, religious gatherings, graduation ceremonies, sporting events, etc.). Measles can spread very easily among large groups of people if they are not immune, who can then take the disease back into their communities.

If you are holding an event with international visitors, or participants from an outbreak area, please strongly encourage them to get vaccinated against measles at least two weeks before travel

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: renu.prasad@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Total Excellium
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper