NEWS

COVID-19: Woman, 47, Becomes First Locally Transmitted Patient

At a press conference yesterday, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said after the first confirmed case, they had immediately identified and isolated eleven members of the first patient’s household at the isolation ward in Nadi Hospital.
22 Mar 2020 10:06
COVID-19: Woman, 47, Becomes First Locally Transmitted Patient
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete at the press conference in Suva on March 21, 2020. Photo: Inoke Rabonu

Fiji has recorded its first locally transmitted case of COVID-19.

It brings to two the number of confirmed cases in the country. The latest victim is the mother of the Fiji Airways flight attendant, Fiji’s first COVID-19 case. His case was transmitted while travelling abroad.

At a press conference yesterday, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said after the first confirmed case, they had immediately identified and isolated eleven members of the first patient’s household at the isolation ward in Nadi Hospital.

“These individuals were transported in a secure, hygienic medical vehicle directly to the isolation ward in Nadi Hospital,” the PM said.

“There was zero contact made with any person in Nadi, or anywhere outside of the Lautoka confined area.

“The patient’s mother was asymptomatic when first isolated at Nadi Hospital – meaning she was not displaying any symptoms at the time.”

He said she developed symptoms soon after entering isolation at the Nadi Hospital.

“This is a good thing, as it greatly reduces the likelihood, she had transmitted the virus before her isolation,” the PM said.

“Once isolated, household members displaying symptoms were all tested for COVID-19. Within isolation, the patient’s mother has since tested positive for the virus.”

Mr Bainimarama said the patient was in a stable condition and has remained in isolation at the Nadi Hospital.

The patient’s other household contacts ranging from ages 1 to 57 also remain in isolation.

No risk for Nadi

The Lautoka Confined Area remains the same and will not be widened.

“As I’ve already made clear, the second patient was securely and hygienically transported to Nadi Hospital, so she poses no risk to the public in Nadi,” the PM said.

“This first locally-transmitted case reinforces the need for the current confinement measures to remain in place.

“We have learned the hard lessons from other countries that did not heed to the strongest possible containment measures early. Fiji will not make those same mistakes.”

Satellite hospitals

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is working on setting up satellite hospitals within the Rakiraki and Tavua medical facilities this week.

Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said this would cater for the services needed in the Western Division that were formerly offered in the Lautoka Hospital.

Last week, all health services outside Lautoka area were covered through the Colonial War Memorial (CWM) Hospital in Suva.

“Those within the Nadi, Sigatoka, Tavua, Ba, Rakiraki had all their needs for referral that used to be sent to Lautoka were sent to CWM Hospital,” Dr Waqainabete said.

“CWM Hospital teams of specialist have also been moving up and down in the Sigatoka to Nadi corridor and also the Rakiraki to Ba corridor.

“The beginning of this week, we are looking at setting up satellite hospitals in Rakiraki and Sigatoka to cater for the services needed in the Western division that were formerly offered through Lautoka.”

Ni-Vanuatu medical student

A Ni-Vanuatu medical student that came into contact with the first COVID-19 patient is among those isolated.

Minister Waqainabete reiterated that all those who have been in contact with the patient, which included the Ni-Vanuatu medical student, were in isolation.

“She has been tested and at the moment we are awaiting the test results,” he said.

Dr Waqainabete said extensive training with medical professionals who came in contact with patients and those isolated was vital and continues to be strengthened.

“Trainings on infection protocols and guidelines have been in place. We have ensured that they are provided with the necessary equipment and that they follow subsequent protocols,” the minister said.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj



Five Square diwali dhamaka 2021


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Tower Insurance
FNPF
Covid 19 - SPC
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper