24 Apr 2020

Fiji hospital staff investigated for Covid-19 breaches

8:36 pm on 24 April 2020

Fiji's Ministry of Health is investigating breaches of Covid-19 restrictions involving hospital staff.

The ministry said this followed a video posted on social media showing large crowds of people gathered outside the hospital to farewell patients being discharged.

Bernadette Welch is the Permanent Secretary for Health in Fiji.

Bernadette Welch is the Permanent Secretary for Health in Fiji. Photo: Supplied/Fiji govt

The Permanent Secretary for Health Bernadette Welch said the footage clearly showed the principles advocated by the government's Covid-19 measures were not observed.

Ms Welch said people were seen hugging and shaking hands in full view of Lautoka Hospital staff.

The video had since been removed.

She said staff should understand better than anyone that even one careless moment, hug or cough could spread the disease and put lives at risk.

Ms Welch said what she saw at the hospital goes against everything the ministry had been doing to keep Fiji safe and healthy.

The Permanent Secretary pointed out anyone in the crowd could have been carrying the virus.

Lautoka Hospital.

Lautoka Hospital. Photo: Supplied/Fiji MOH

The ministry urged healthcare workers across the country to lead by example through their strict adherence to the government's health protection measures.

Ms Welch said this included the ban on public gatherings and the maintenance of two metres of physical distance as much as possible.

"We are in this together, and we cannot let Fiji down."

Meanwhile, the government said three of 18 Covid-19 patients had recovered this week.

The three included the country's first case which was first confirmed mid-March.