PM: Why Latest Covid-19 Case Poses Risk

“In the meantime, we are confident that our system of border quarantine can function to the high degree it has over the past year.”
20 Apr 2021 10:28
PM: Why Latest Covid-19 Case Poses Risk
Police officers monitor check-points of entry at Momi Junction in Nadi. Photo: Mereleki Nai

The Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday stressed why the 53-year-old woman, the latest COVID-19 transmission case, posed risk.

During his nationwide address, Mr Bainimarama said the woman, who was a maid at the quarantine facility contracted the virus after an encounter with the soldier.

“Our investigation has revealed she had an interaction with the soldier when he showed up early to his room as it was being cleaned,” he said.

“That is why the woman was not tested before re-entering the public.

“We’ll have to wait and see what further investigations reveal.

“What is clear today is that this breach in protocol cannot be repeated.

“In the meantime, we are confident that our system of border quarantine can function to the high degree it has over the past year.”


Where the woman travelled

Mr Bainimarama said: “The woman is a daytime worker and she resides in Nadi.

“It has been revealed that she had symptoms on Thursday, and authorities were not notified.

“That means she was contagious when she was at work on Thursday and later on Friday and Saturday when she travelled through the Lautoka and Nadi areas.

“Perhaps most worryingly, she attended a funeral in Tavakubu, Lautoka on Friday and Saturday, travelling alongside other passengers by minivan.

“Her movement using public transport, and her attendance –– in close proximity alongside many other Fijians –– at the two-day funeral, makes further transmission in the community highly likely.

“To limit the risk of mass community transmission, and to better screen the local population, we have established a Nadi and Lautoka Containment Area and brought new stringent health protection measures into effect.

“The Nadi and Lautoka Containment Area has been established from Qeleloa bearing towards Sigatoka, to Nacilau, Vakabuli, and the Waiwai Crossing bearing towards Ba.

“Ministry of Health and Medical Services personnel and disciplined forces have rapidly established screening points at these entry points.”


Mask up in containment areas

Mr Bainimarama urged Fijians in the containment areas to wear masks.

“It’s the one thing that may be most important in stopping the spread,” he said.

“Masks are absolutely proven to protect yourself and others from contracting COVID, so we need each of you to urgently pick up this habit.”

Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Dr James Fong, said: “The investigations and tracing we have done with regards to the funeral that happened at Tavakubu all indicate that apart from the three individuals who went all the way to Moturiki, the rest of those in the funeral remained in the Lautoka area residing near the church circuit where the funeral had happened.

“Our biggest area of interest right now is Tavakubu where she had attended the funeral where we have both setup fixed and mobile fever clinics.”




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