27 Jun 2019

Fiji govt says info on mystery deaths can't be rushed

10:01 am on 27 June 2019

Fiji's Minister of Health says the government will provide more information about the mystery death of an American couple once it can be verified.

Fiji's Minister of Health, Ifereimi Waqainabete

Fiji's Minister of Health, Ifereimi Waqainabete Photo: RNZ Pacific / Koro Vaka'uta

An investigation is underway into the sudden deaths of David and Michelle Paul while holidaying in Nadi last month.

Infectious diseases have been ruled out, but family of the deceased say information has been hard to come by from local authorities.

Health Minister Ifereimi Waqainabete said the government had not closed down communication channels and had made statements when appropriate.

However, the government doesn't want to indulge in speculation, he said.

"I've said it all along. It's being able to strike the right balance. Obviously, we feel for the couple, we feel for the family who have been devastated but you know the only way to be able to show true respect to them is actually show that whatever we say is actually the truth."

Dr Waiqainabete couldn't confirm reports that investigations were focusing on the toxic chemical paraquat which is banned in some countries but is used as a herbicide in Fiji.

He said testing was being done by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention and results would be released when complete.

American couple Michelle and David Paul died in Fiji while holidaying.

Michelle and David Paul were 35 and 38 respectively when they died. Photo: Supplied

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