NEWS

Unknown Links Worrying In Three COVID-19 Cases

“The virus is insidious, it is unrelenting. All it takes is one unknown case in our community to spark an explosion of cases across the country."
05 May 2021 21:52
Unknown Links Worrying In Three COVID-19 Cases
Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services, Dr James Fong on Wednesday May 05, 2021. Photo: Leon Lord.

The links to ascertain how three cases of COVID-19 contracted the virus is still unknown.

In his nationwide announcement Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong said these cases were:

  • Case 116 – the second gentleman from Ra, case 120,
  • Case 120, the 25-year-old doctor at Lautoka Hospital,
  • and Case 125, the most recent patient at Lautoka hospital.

He said though they were able to identify that the case in Ra was genetically identical to other local cases,  they had not established a direct person-to-person link to other local cases.

“We still have three cases of unknown origin in Fiji, Though, as I mentioned, we suspect the doctor contracted the virus from this patient,” he said.

“The virus is insidious, it is unrelenting. All it takes is one unknown case in our community to spark an explosion of cases across the country.

“If that COVID-positive person remains unidentified, they are at-risk and so in the nation. But if that person comes forward, we can care for them, we can keep them safe, and we can keep the country safe.”

He said the Ministry had received the genomic sequencing result from the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit (MDU) at the Peter Doherty Institute in Melbourne with regards to the first COVID-19 case of unknown origin in Ra.

“We can confirm that the virus this patient has is genetically identical to other local cases, and it is the same B1.617 variant that was first detected in India.

“So, while we have not established a direct person-to-person link to other local cases, we know that this case is linked to the others and is within the same cluster that links back to the border quarantine facility.”

He said there were likely to have more cases that remained unidentified linked to this cluster that we have not yet found.

“While this genetic link is positive news, not yet having a person-person link indicates that other chains of transmission have happened and are possibly ongoing in the community.”



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