NEWS

COVID-19: For Now, Doctors With COVID-19 Treated As Community Transmission- Fong

Two doctors are the country’s latest COVID-19 patients.
04 May 2021 09:30
COVID-19: For Now, Doctors With COVID-19 Treated As Community Transmission- Fong
Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong during his announcement on May 3, 2021. Photo: Leon Lord

Two doctors are the country’s latest COVID-19 patients.

They are 25-year-old female doctor and a 30-year-old male doctor who work at the Lautoka Hospital.

Both doctors have been entered into isolation and their close household contacts have been quarantined.

The Health and Medical Services Ministry has started the investigation into the source of the virus and how the doctors got infected. The two doctors did not work with other COVID-19 cases.

Last night Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong classified the case of the two doctors as community transmission.

“We are early into our investigation, but at this stage they do not appear to have any links to existing cases or events of interest, such as the Tavakubu funeral,” he said.

“Also, while they did work in the hospital, they did not work in the isolation ward where they would have had interaction with COVID-positive patients.

“So, while we are very early into this investigation, we must treat these cases as instances of community transmission until it is proven otherwise.

“All contacts within the hospital will be screened, tested, and isolated as appropriate. As you can imagine, this is a massive and complex undertaking for the Lautoka hospital team, and we are providing the support they need.

“This includes sending in medical teams from other medical facilities to replace staff who have been identified as close contacts of these cases and stood down to be isolated,” he said.

Advantage

Dr Fong said both doctors installed the careFIJI app and had it running.

“So while the contact tracing teams are conducting their work on the ground, a digital net is being cast far and wide for Fijians who may have had contact with these two doctors.

“careFIJI has identified one contact already, and Lautoka is safer for it.

“While these two doctors responsibly had the app running, we know the effectiveness of the app’s contact tracing function depends on how many other people also had it running on their phones.

“So, if you do not yet have the app installed — do it right now, and make sure it is running every time you leave the house. It will not use data, it will not chew battery — it will save lives.”

The two doctors had received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and did not work in the outpatient department

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj



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