19 Apr 2021

Lockdown around Nadi after positive covid test

1:21 pm on 19 April 2021

The Fijian government has announced a lockdown in the west of the main island Viti Levu after a woman registered a positive Covid-19 test.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services says the woman worked in a border quarantine facility but has since entered public spaces.

A health worker analyzes a PCR test for Covid-19 detection at the laboratory of the University Centre of Health Sciences (CUCS) in Guadalajara, Jalisco state, Mexico, on April 14, 2021. (Photo by ULISES RUIZ / AFP)

Photo: AFP

Fiji Village online said the 53-year-old resides in Nadi, with a travel history in Nadi and Lautoka. All members of her household have already gone into quarantine and they are awaiting the results of their Covid-19 tests.

Following the test result, to aid rapid contact tracing and reduce the likelihood of further transmission, there will be a lockdown of the Greater Nadi and Lautoka Area, which was imposed from early this morning.

The Fiji government statement said the affected areas are defined as spanning from Momi Junction and the Mulomulo Post towards Sigatoka, to Nacilau, Vakabuli, and the Waiwai crossing bearing towards Ba.

Passenger travel out of this area has been halted by road, air, and sea.

Travel into the area will be permitted over the next 24 hours for Fijians who reside within the Greater Nadi and Lautoka Area. However, those allowed to enter must head straight home and will not be allowed to come out of the lockdown area.

The statement said within the Greater Nadi and Lautoka Area, the Fiji Police Force will enforce a 24-hour curfew.

"Public gatherings should not happen. No services should run except for essential medical services.

"Later today, the government will reveal when essential businesses, including banks, supermarkets, pharmacies, and other essential service providers, may resume operation with strict physical distancing enforced. For now, all schools and businesses will be closed," the statement said.

For the rest of Fiji, schools, workplaces, businesses and inter-island shipping services may remain open. However, the ministry encourages people to avoid non-essential travel and large gatherings. Outside of the Greater Nadi and Lautoka Area, curfew hours will remain from 11pm to 4am.

The ministry is also re-activating fever clinics within the Greater Nadi and Lautoka Area to keep people with fevers away from vulnerable people who visit Health Centres and into separate, dedicated spaces specially designed to effectively identify possible Covid-19 cases.

"It is vital that all Fijians adhere to the practices of good handwashing, strict physical distancing, where possible, and mask-wearing in public spaces.

If you are feeling unwell, stay home and report your symptoms to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services," the statement said.

"The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is more equipped than we have ever been to contain the spread of the virus together. We have seen the proven impact that health restrictions have had on cutting chains of transmission. By relying on these measures and adhering to the advice from relevant authorities, we can save lives and keep Fiji safe."

Meanwhile, an Air New Zealand flight from Auckland to Fiji was diverted back to Auckland this morning.

According to FlightRadar24, the NZ952 flight was about an hour out of Nadi Airport when it turned back.

Fiji Airports Limited and the airline are yet to respond to a request for comment on why the plane was diverted.

Fiji's Health Ministry said two confirmed cases of Covid-19 announced in Fiji earlier this month had travelled from Auckland to Nadi on April 8th.

Fiji now has 72 cases of the Coronavirus with five active, 65 recovered and two deaths reported.