Date: August 13th, 2020
Today we are announcing one new border quarantine case of COVID-19. The patient is a 61-year-old gentleman. He is a repatriating Fijian citizen who traveled to Fiji from Sacramento, California in the United States. He transited through Auckland and arrived in Fiji on Thursday. The 6th of August. After developing COVID-like symptoms while in a government-designated border quarantine facility, he was tested and confirmed positive for the virus. He has since been admitted to the isolation ward at Nadi Hospital where remains in stable condition.
This is our tenth border quarantine case reported since July 6th. All of these patients are returning Fijian citizens who contracted the virus while overseas. As we’ve previously announced, one of those patients has sadly passed away, and two have since recovered. Currently, that makes for seven active border quarantine cases. All active cases are currently in stable condition and will be discharged in accordance with the current Ministry of Health COVID-19 case discharge protocols. These discharge protocols are in accordance with internationally accepted best practice guidelines.
It has now been 117days since the last case of COVID-19 in Fiji was reported outside a border quarantine facility. As with previous border quarantine cases, this gentleman was under strict quarantine conditions from the time the flight into Nadi landed, which includes the mandated 14-day quarantine at a government-designated quarantine facility supervised by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services. As long as our border quarantine and infection prevention control protocols are upheld there is no risk to the Fijian public from this new border quarantine case.
I’d also like to address the availability of COVID-19 testing in Fiji. COVID tests in Fiji which are conducted for medical purposes are completely free. Our returning citizens in quarantine are all tested for free. The close contacts of past cases were all tested for free. Fijians who meet our medical testing criteria ––such as those displaying COVID-like symptoms ––are all tested for free. Our healthcare staff are regularly tested for free as well.
A recent government gazette announced a $300 fee can be charged for COVID-19tests. However, this will be applied only in certain circumstances, not across the board. For example, for non-citizens entering the country, along with people who want to travel overseas but need to be tested as a requirement for entry into other countries. This is generally the practice around the world. In fact, Fiji’s tests are actually relatively affordable. This schedule for COVID-19tests from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services is no different from the other tests and services offered by the Ministry under the Schedule of Fees and Charges.