September 20, 2020

Extra measures in place as fourth COVID-19 case confirmed in Fiji

Last Updated on 6 months by

The Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services has today confirmed the fourth case of COVID-19 in Fiji.

The individual is a 28-year-old man who arrived in Fiji from Sydney on Saturday, 21 March and took a taxi to his home in Suva.

When he left that flight, he was not showing any symptoms of COVID-19. Regardless, he was advised by health officials at the airport to go straight home and self-quarantine for 14 days, which he did.

That Sunday night while he was still on self-quarantine, he developed mild symptoms –– a sore throat, and then a cough. Recognising the warning signs of COVID-19, he contacted the Ministry of Health via the dedicated hotline, and a rapid response team was immediately dispatched to his home where he was examined and tested.

The patient then remained in self-quarantine until the test for COVID-19 returned positive. After the test was confirmed, an ambulance transported the patient securely and hygienically to our Central Division isolation ward at Navua Hospital.

Separate ambulances then transported all members of his household to the Navua Hospital isolation ward, even though their contact with this patient was limited they are currently displaying no symptoms. They all remain isolated at the hospital, where they pose zero risk to the public.

There were 26 other people on the same flight FJ 1916 from Sydney to Nadi. Fiji Airways was practicing safe distancing on the plane, spacing out passengers through their strictly-enforced assigned seating. All other passengers from that flight remain in self-quarantine for a 14-day period.

Meanwhile there will be no more scheduled passenger Fiji Airways flights into or out of Fiji until further notice.

While the risk of transmission from this case is low, the contact tracing teams at the Ministry are currently identifying every single person in Fiji who may have had direct contact with the patient down to the taxi driver who drove him from Nadi Airport to Suva.

The Prime Minister of Fiji, Honourable Voreqe Bainimarama has advised Fijians to avoid all non-essential travel.

That means no Fijian should travel from their home unless absolutely necessary. And they certainly should not be travelling around the country, across divisions or to different islands.

“Children should stay at home at all times. The elderly should stay at home at all times. Breadwinners who can go to work should go home straight after. For everyone else, every move you make should be for your own health or the health of others,” Honourable Bainimarama said.

Our ban on gatherings of 20 people or more remains in full effect. Weddings, funerals, concerts, sporting events should all be cancelled. The Government is doing everything in its power to keep all Fijians safe.

We urge Fijians to protect yourself and your families through washing your hands, practicing physical distancing and sanitising your homes and offices regularly.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • fever
    • flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat or headaches; or
    •             difficulty breathing.

The Government of Fiji remains on the highest level of alert in response to this global pandemic. We know that finding cases early and isolating them quickly is key to containing this disease. As the symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to many other respiratory illnesses (including the common cold and influenza) it is expected that the Ministry will continue to investigate more persons with relevant travel history and symptoms related to COVID-19.

What can you do?

The Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services wishes to strongly urge the public to not share rumours and misinformation, and to use credible sources for information on COVID-19:

Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services website:

www.health.gov.fj

Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/MoHFiji/

World Health Organization (WHO) website:

www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

 

If you have been to a COVID-19 affected country in the last 14 days and develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing immediately contact one of the numbers listed below. If you need to see a doctor please call ahead, using the following phone numbers, before visiting to reduce the risk of infecting other patients.

Central                 2219905

Eastern                2219906

Western               2219907

Northern             2219908

The Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services is monitoring the developing situation and will provide updates regularly to the public.