NATION

Top COVID-19 Test Kits Arrive From Australia

Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, John Feakes, was at Nadi Airport to receive the aircraft, and said the GeneXpert cartridges would strengthen Fiji’s capacity to quickly and reliably test for COVID-19.
01 May 2020 16:01
Top COVID-19 Test Kits Arrive From Australia
Royal Australian Air Force C-17 aircraft crew with Nadi International Airport staff members and Republic of Fiji Military Forces personnel as they offload the COVID-19 test kits and TC Harold relief items on April 30, 2020. Photo: Australian High Commission

Another Royal Australian Air Force C-17 aircraft landed in Nadi yesterday carrying 360 GeneXpert test cartridges to enable more local testing for COVID-19.

Australia and the World Health Organisation (WHO) are working together to ensure Fiji and our Pacific Island neighbours across the region have access to high quality testing equipment to detect and combat COVID-19.

The GeneXpert system can produce accurate results within 45 minutes, and allows direct detection of the presence of the SARS-CoV−2 virus, which causes COVID−19, in swabs or other samples.

Australia has contributed FJ$1.46 million towards the WHO procurement of 96,591 GeneXpert PCR testing cartridges and three additional GeneXpert PCR machines, to enable in-country diagnostic testing for COVID−19 across the Pacific.

Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, John Feakes, was at Nadi Airport to receive the aircraft, and said the GeneXpert cartridges would strengthen Fiji’s capacity to quickly and reliably test for COVID-19.

“Staff from the Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services have done phenomenal work over the last couple of months to detect and contain the spread of COVID-19, and Australia will continue to support their efforts by ensuring our Fijian vuvale have access to accurate and high-quality testing equipment,” he said.

This delivery of test kits is one of many expected to arrive in Fiji over coming weeks.

Relief items for those affected by TC Harold

In addition to the 360 test cartridges and 1000 Ceftriaxone antibiotic injections, the aircraft also delivered an additional FJ$402,000 of humanitarian supplies to support Fiji’s response to Tropical Cyclone Harold including:

  • 2600 mosquito nets for beds
  • 200 blankets
  • 200 sleeping mats
  • 175 family tents
  • 10 chainsaws
  • 5 generators 8KVA
  • 100 first aid kits
  • 4 thermal foggers to combat mosquitos
  • 100 litres of pyrethrin insecticide
  • 5 respirator kits for workers combatting mosquitos
  • 6 flat pack 1000 litre water tanks
  • 396 hygiene kits
  • 720 tarpaulins

The aircraft also carried UNICEF supplies including tents and WASH kits as part of Australia’s ongoing cooperation with United Nations’ agencies.

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