NEWS

COVID-19: Soldiers Breach Queried- Dr Fong

Dr Fong also hit out strongly at those who are suspected to have breached protocols while staying in government quarantine facilities.
28 Apr 2021 10:13
COVID-19: Soldiers Breach Queried- Dr Fong

Six new cases of COVID-19 were announced by the Health and Medical Services Permanent Secretary Dr James Fong last night.

Dr Fong also hit out strongly at those who are suspected to have breached protocols while staying in government quarantine facilities.

  • All six cases were detected among Fijians who are currently in quarantine.
  • Four of the six new cases were from soldiers who recently returned from overseas duties, some of whom have been fraternising with each other during their 14-day quarantine in the border quarantine facility, against the rules set in place.
  • Their quarantine period had already been extended due to suspected breaches.
  • Each of these new patients tested negative –– multiple times –– before this latest diagnosis. That means they contracted the virus while in quarantine, very recently, from one of their colleagues.

Frivolous contact not worth it

Dr Fong said: “No unnecessary, frivolous contact is worth an extra two weeks in quarantine, but that’s precisely what all of those in the Tanoa International Hotel will now need to endure, under much stricter watch, as we reset the clock.

“Thank God we did so after learning that an earlier case had mingled among his companions –– otherwise, we’d have more cases, and more clusters, as COVID-positive soldiers returned to their families.”

Come forward

He said all individuals who were discharged from the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi from April 12, 2021 would be recalled to be screened, swabbed, and tested.

“In addition to this cluster of soldiers, two cases were confirmed among family members of the lady from Wainitarawau in Cunningham –– cases that, because of the highly-transmissible nature of this likely variant, we expected.

“These family members have been admitted at the Navua isolation unit since Wednesday April 21 and tested negative on their first two tests in quarantine.”

He said as they have now tested positive after five days in quarantine, they are not considered a transmission risk to the public.

He said the six new COVID-19 patients –– all of whom are safely confined within quarantine or isolation units –– brings Fiji’s total to 109 confirmed cases since Fiji’s first case was detected on March 19, 2020.

He added there are now 42 confirmed active cases in isolation, but the number of actual, undetected cases are likely to be higher.

“I say ‘confirmed’ because, as I’ve stressed before, the number of actual, undetected cases is likely higher –– and that’s precisely why, for your health and the health of your loved ones, you should be wearing a mask at all times.”

Edited by Losirene Lacanivalu

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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