NEWS

Lautoka Hospital Locked Down

Lautoka Hospital will be closed to the public, all medical services will be re-routed to a network of back-up hospitals in Nadi, Ba, and Sigatoka, as well as the Punjas and Kamikamica health centres in Lautoka.
05 May 2021 21:04
Lautoka Hospital Locked Down
Police Constable Paul May at the Lautoka hospital. Photo: Nicolette Chambers.
Members of the disciplined forces in Lautoka today sealed off the entrance points leading into the Lautoka Hospital.
This comes after the announcement by Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong of four new COVID-19 cases.
Two are  border quarantine cases who are both soldiers returning from their tours of duty as peacekeepers in the Golan Heights.
The third is Case 125, a 53-year-old gentleman who was admitted to the Lautoka Hospital on the 19th of April 2021 for a surgical procedure.
Dr Fong said: “On the 29th of April, he was seen by case 120, the 25-year-old doctor. He was asked to be swabbed for COVID-19. However, he refused on two occasions. The doctor developed symptoms on May 1st, and tested positive yesterday.

“On the 2nd of May, the same patient was assessed by case 121, the 30-year-old, doctor. We know that this doctor, case 121, had tested negative for the virus on April 26th, he tested positive yesterday as part of contact tracing for case 120, and his results indicate he very recently caught the virus.”

It is still unknown where and when the patient contacted the virus.
Police officers at the entrance to the Lautoka hospital.

Police officers at the entrance to the Lautoka hospital.

 

Dr Fong said their first priority was to contain the cases they know about within Lautoka Hospital.

“To prevent the hospital from becoming ground-zero for a wider outbreak, the members of our disciplined forces have locked down Lautoka Hospital in a matter of hours –– it is now a tightly-contained, full-time COVID care facility.”

Dr Fong also pointed out the following:

  • More than 400 patients, doctors, nurses, and other staff have been sequestered and will be effectively quarantined within the hospital until we can determine who else may or may not have had contact with this patient.
  • Lautoka Hospital will be closed to the public, all medical services will be re-routed to a network of back-up hospitals in Nadi, Ba, and Sigatoka, as well as the Punjas and Kamikamica health centres in Lautoka. We’ve activated the entire government machinery to ensure these critical services remain accessible to our people. As we’ve announced before, the borders of the containment areas are open to those travelling for medical emergencies, so this can already be facilitated.

    •    Given we expect more cases, and more severe cases. Sections within the Lautoka Hospital are being converted into intensive care units which will house additional beds and ventilators.

    •    The staff of Lautoka Hospital will be accommodated and work within the hospital while contact tracing continues. Remember, our staffing capacity was already stretched due to quarantine of the close contacts of our two doctors. Those who are working will operate on high-alert, fully-equipped in the proper personal protective equipment. They will be screened regularly and tested often. We are going to provide them with any and all support that they need. Food, supplies, bedding, whatever they require, we will provide.

    •    Finally, not only in the hospital, but around Lautoka, there is going to be a lot more swabbing.



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