26 Nov 2020

Fiji's border Covid-19 cases transit through NZ

6:07 pm on 26 November 2020

Fiji's Health Ministry says majority of the country's border cases of Covid-19 have transited through New Zealand.

Since July, Fiji has recorded 20 cases in border quarantine.

Group of viruses, computer illustration.

Photo: AFP

The ministry announced on Wednesday three more people had tested positive for the virus after arriving on a repatriation flight from Auckland on 19 November.

Health official Sunil Chandra says two of them are Fiji citizens returning from Mali while the third is a foreign national who had left Germany.

Chandra said the pair, in their 40s, had worked in Mali, Africa, while the third person was an expat returning with his family from Germany.

New Zealand also announced on Wednesday it had eight new cases in managed isolation - all arriving on repatriation flights on 19 November.

According to New Zealand's health ministry, five of its eight new cases were a family who arrived on 19 November from Mexico via the United States and all tested positive around day three of their 14 days of quarantine.

The ministry said the five, along with one person who arrived on 19 November from the US and tested positive at around day three, had been taken to the Christchurch quarantine facility.

It said one other person had arrived on 19 November from Finland via Sweden and Qatar and tested positive at around day three.

The ministry said another person arrived on 19 November from Canada via Hong Kong and tested positive around day three.

Both were in the Auckland quarantine facility, it said.

Sunil Chandra said the Fijian authorities are aware that many of its citizens being repatriated are arriving from around the world.

Chandra said while there is a risk passengers can contract the virus enroute to Fiji, the health ministry is prepared.

He said there are strict Covid-19 protocols that people arriving in the country have to undergo.

Chandra said the latest patients' entry tests were conducted on day two of their quarantine and this was part of the ministry's standard border procedure.

He said the frontline border and quarantine staff who were directly involved with the patient would be monitored and tested.

Fiji has 38 cases of Covid-19 with four active.

The fourth patient was a 53-year-old man who arrived in the country on a repatriation flight from New Zealand on 5 November.