22 Feb 2012

No immediate plans to declare public health emergency in Fiji

2:54 pm on 22 February 2012

The Ministry of Health in Fiji says there are no immediate plans to declare a Public Health Emergency following last month's severe flooding but says it's continually monitoring the situation.

The Ministry's spokesperson, Peni Namotu, says there have been four confirmed cases of dengue fever, 20 of typhoid and 27 of leptospirosis in the flood-affected areas.

The Commissioner of the Western Division, Joeli Cawaki, who wanted a ban on mass gatherings in risk areas, warned the Ministry that he would declare a Public Health Emergency if it didn't.

The Ministry's Peni Namotu says they had a meeting with the commissioner yesterday.

"We came to an agreement that it is most likely to be early at this stage to declare a public health emergency but on the other hand what we've been advising the people is that we don't need a public health emergency for the people to ban certain things that they think is appropriate to be banned."

Peni Namotu says it's yet to be confirmed whether seven deaths in the region were caused by communicable diseases.