Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr James Fong said they received the confirmation from the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit (MDU) at the Peter Doherty Institute in Melbourne
“As I mentioned yesterday, our contact tracing investigations meant that we already strongly suspected that this was the variant in question - as case 73, the soldier working in border quarantine only had contact with recent border quarantine cases who had travelled from India. This has informed our containment measures, and we have already adapted them accordingly, but I want the public to have a clear grasp of the stakes here -- because the discipline and diligence of ordinary Fijians will make or break our containment of this viral variant, “he said in a press conference this afternoon.
“This newly-confirmed COVID variant is one of several dangerous new variants that have taken root in places like Brazil, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, and in India –– which is suffering a painful fourth wave the likes of which the world has never seen.”
Since yesterday’s news conference, the ministry has detected six more cases of COVID-19 in Fiji.
According to Dr Fong, all six cases were detected among Fijians who are currently in quarantine.
“Four of the six new cases come from soldiers recently returned from overseas duties, some, who have been fraternising amongst each other during their 14-day quarantine in the border quarantine facility, against the rules we’ve set in place. Their quarantine period had already been extended due to suspected breaches, and unfortunately, these bad apples mean that we have to reset the clock again for all soldiers within that unit –– heroes who have already been separated from their families for far too long.”
In addition to the cluster of soldiers, two cases were confirmed among family members of the lady from Wainitarawau in Cunningham Suva.
“These family members have been admitted in the Navua isolation unit since Wednesday April 21st and tested negative on their first 2 tests in quarantine. As they have now tested positive after 5 days in quarantine, they are not considered a transmission risk to the public,” Dr Fong said.
Photo Fijian Government