23 Apr 2021

More positive Covid-19 cases expected, says Fiji official

3:49 pm on 23 April 2021

Fiji's head of Health Protection, says they are expecting more positive cases of Covid-19 in the coming days.

Dr Aalisha Sahukhan said they have tested 69 contacts of the first five community cases which emerged in the past week, as well as over 300 secondary contacts. Results from the first test for these people were negative.

Fiji's head of Health Protection, Dr Aalisha Sahukhan.

Fiji's head of Health Protection, Dr Aalisha Sahukhan. Photo: Fiji Village

Dr Sahukhan said the virus can take up to 14 days to show up in a test or even cause symptoms and this why they feel there will be more cases after further testing.

She told Fiji Village that they have plans ready for this, such as the current isolation facility its using at the Lautoka hospital, and opening up Navua hospital.

"If we go beyond that, we have contingency plans for opening up other centres for isolations as well as quarantine of contacts.

Part of the reason why we have paused international passenger travel is also to free up space within our boarder quarantine hotels facilities for this increasing capacity for isolation and quarantine," she said.

Meanwhile, Fiji has recorded six new border quarantine cases of Covid-19.

According to the Permanent Secretary of Health, Dr James Fong, one of the six border cases is a 38 year-old man who arrived from Malaysia on April 8th.

He said the other five were members of a family who arrived on the same day but from the Philippines.

Dr Fong said two other members of the same travelling family had tested positive during entry testing.

Acting Permanent Secretary for Health, James Fong

Fiji's Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr James Fong. Photo: Fiji Govt

Fiji now has 78 Covid-19 cases, 13 active (five in the community and eight in border quarantine) while 65 have recovered and two deaths reported.

He said all of the individuals tested negative on arrival in the country, and that they did not test positive until the very end of their 14-day quarantine period.

Dr Fong said these results were compatible with what "the science was telling us, that this virus can take up to 14 days to present itself which is why we use that two-week timeframe as our containment window".