28 Apr 2021

Two more Covid-19 cases in Fiji

10:00 pm on 28 April 2021

Two new cases of Covid-19 infections have been reported in Fiji.

This brings the total number of known Covid cases in Fiji to 111, since its first case was detected on 19 March 2020. Forty-four of these cases are currently active and isolated.

Ministry of Health permanent secretary Dr James Fong said one of the two patients - a 53-year-old caretaker of the Ra Provincial Office - was of concern.

"The man's case will require additional investigation into his contacts to determine if he was definitively linked to other active cases," Dr Fong said.

He had showed symptoms such as body aches when he visited the Nanukuloa Health Centre on 24 April and is now in the Lautoka Hospital isolation ward.

Dr Fong said the second of Wednesday's new cases is a 25-year-old male who had stayed at the house of the Makoi woman who tested positive to the virus on Saturday.

The two new cases of the B1617 variant of Covid-19 pose a threat never seen before for those on Viti Levu according to Dr Fong.

"We remain in a period of nationwide containment, but these two latest clusters indicate to us that this virus has spread to localities in several different areas of Viti Levu.

"These two weeks will define the next two months for Fiji, and we all need to behave like we have Covid, even if there are no known cases in our community or we are showing no symptoms of the virus," he said.

Fiji health officials Dr Aalisha SahuKhan, left, and Dr James Fong.

Fiji health officials Dr Aalisha SahuKhan, left, and Dr James Fong. Photo: Facebook/Fiji govt

Dr Fong said Fijians must act to contain the threatening B1617 variant of Covid-19.

This variant has been described as one with worrying mutations that could create major chaos.

The FBC reports medical officials are trying to get people to understand the need to take precautionary measures over the next fortnight, saying otherwise the country faces a severe outcome.

B1617, which has been called a double mutant, has occurred in India, Brazil, South Africa, the UK and the US.

A Digicel stand at Fiji's Suva markets.

Suva markets. Photo: RNZ / Jamie Tahana

Food markets

Fiji's Ministry of Local Government has advised that from Wednesday certain food markets within the Containment Areas set up to control the spread of Covid-19, are continuing operations.

Residents in Suva Zone are advised the Suva Market, Flagstaff Mini Market, Raiwaqa Mini Market, Nabua Mini Market, Kaukimoce Mini Market and Laqere market will be operating as normal.

In addition, the Lami Market and Delainavesi Mini Market in Lami Zone are continuing its operations, as well.

Consumers in Nasinu can visit the Makoi and Narere mini markets, as well as the Laqere market.

For Nausori, consumers can go to the Nausori market for vegetables, fruits and fish.

In Lautoka City, the main Lautoka market and the Tavakubu Satellite Market are open for business.

For Nadi residents, both Nadi and Namaka Markets are operational and will close 5pm daily.

Fiji's Ministry of Local Government said patrons at all the markets need to adhere to the Covid-19 protocols on social distancing and the use of face masks.

Minister for Local Government Premila Kumar said we will endeavour to deliver the required services to all consumers and ratepayers during this period.

"In return, we expect all citizens to adhere to the government Covid-Safe measures. Your safety and the safety of your family is your responsibility," she said.