NEWS

Five More Diagnosed With COVID-19 Brings Total Active Cases To 49

We have contacted the manage­ment of the factory she worked in, and the factory next door, and these managers have agreed to work together with us to ensure that their workers are urgently screened tonight.
30 Apr 2021 12:53
Five More Diagnosed With COVID-19 Brings Total Active Cases To 49
Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong at the press conference Photo: Ronald Kumar

Last night Health and Medi­cal Services Permanent Secretary Dr James Fong announced five new cases, bring­ing the total number of active cas­es in Fiji to 49.

He also announced new meas­ures that will be taken during fu­nerals and cartage of items with­in and outside containment areas. (report inside)

 

The five new cases include:

– The first two are close house­hold contacts of previously an­nounced cases, and they have tested positive while secure in quarantine facilities. One is the 25-year-old wife of the case who stayed in Vunimono, Nausori and the other is his 52-year-old aunt.

– The third case is a former bor­der quarantine passenger who ar­rived from Papua New Guinea into Nadi on Friday April 9th. He had three negative pre-departure tests before leaving PNG, and tested negative twice while at the Tanoa International Hotel border quar­antine, before being discharged on April 23. He was swabbed again in Navua as part of the ministry’s investigations into the quarantine breaches at the Tanoa facility and has subsequently tested positive. He is now in quarantine. He had contact with case number 95 – the husband living in Makoi – on the day of his discharge from the Tanoa quarantine facility.

“Again this case shows just how punishing any lapses in the pro­tocol can be, in particular when you’re dealing with a highly-trans­missible variant of this virus.”

98 people have been identified ,who were discharged from the Tanoa border quarantine facility between April 12th and April 25th, 82 of these people have been con­tacted and told to home quaran­tine. Repeat testing of these people is underway and the remaining 16 are being contacted.

– The fourth case is a 68-year-old male in Rakiraki. He tested posi­tive after presenting to the Raki­raki Hospital Outpatients depart­ment with a cough and fever. The Ministry is yet to establish any direct link between this case and existing cases. Investigations are ongoing while this individual has been entered into quarantine. The Ministry is sure there are others like him out there. Anyone who is feeling unwell anywhere in Fiji should report immediately to a screening clinic.

– The fifth case tested is a border quarantine case. He is a 23-year-old male who travelled from Guy­ana to Fiji, arriving April 22 on NZ952 from Auckland. He tested positive while undergoing manda­tory 14-day quarantine at a border quarantine facility in Nadi.

 

Reasons for concern:

Dr Fong said: “Contact trac­ing for these new cases is under­way. We are most concerned with the aunt from Vunimono, as she worked in a garment factory. And they are monitoring those who worked at Lyndhurst and Mark One Apparel. Her place of work has been shut down since we an­nounced our restrictions on Mon­day, and we are screening every­one she’s worked with while she may have been contagious.

“We have contacted the manage­ment of the factory she worked in, and the factory next door, and these managers have agreed to work together with us to ensure that their workers are urgently screened tonight.

“Our plan tonight (last night) is to have my teams go house-to-house and swab as many of them as possible — at least 80 per cent if we can. As that investigation progresses, the same principles as always apply — health restrictions may expand or become more strin­gent lockdown measures, and that could start as soon as tomorrow evening.”

“Meanwhile, our 110th case –– who is also living in Rakiraki –– still does not have a clearly estab­lished connection to our existing cases. However, thanks to contact tracing, we have leads, but until we’re confident enough to make an official confirmation, all Fiji­ans should continue to behave as if they have been exposed to the virus.”

Boundaries in Ra have been set, and the patient’s family are now in quarantine and have been swabbed for testing.

They have also swabbed another 40 primary contacts of this indi­vidual and screened 406 others in Ra. Results are pending.

“Meanwhile, case number 111 –– the case from our Makoi cluster who travelled to Vunimono –– is also of high concern because of his extensive travel history since April 14, when he was first ex­posed. That’s over two weeks of moving around Viti Levu, so our contact tracing teams are in over­drive working to determine and contact everyone he may have en­countered who we determine to be of risk,” Dr Fong said.

“We hope that the risk of trans­mission was lessened by the fact that he, at no point over the past weeks, displayed COVID-19 symp­toms. But hope is not a strategy. Because he was engaging in high­er-risk activities like drinking grog and sharing cigarettes with friends and family, others very well may have been exposed to the virus. We simply can’t take any chances.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

 

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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