18 May 2021

Fiji: two more Covid-19 cases, two patients in intensive care

12:44 pm on 18 May 2021

Two more cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Fiji last night and health authorities have moved two patients into an intensive case unit.

Suva, Fiji, in lockdown.

Suva under lockdown. Photo: Supplied/ Lice Movono

The central eastern division, where the capital Suva is located and home to over a third of the country's population, has been on a hard lockdown since Friday 14 May.

Health Permanent Secretary James Fong said the two critically ill patients deteriorated over the weekend and were receiving the best possible care.

After three days of refusing media enquiries, Dr Fong is expected to face the public tonight to announce new containment protocols for Suva, Nausori, and the rest of Viti Levu.

On 13 May the country recorded the first person to have died with Covid-19 contracted from community transmission. Four people have died of the virus in Fiji in total.

The latest two cases also contracted the virus from community transmission; they were a health worker at an isolation facility in Colo-i-Suva, a rural community outside the capital city, and the husband of case 159 from the Vunimono cluster, who had been isolation since 12 May.

"Both patients are asymptomatic, which means they are not displaying Covid-like symptoms. Contact tracing is ongoing for both cases," Dr Fong said.

"Fiji has now had 174 cases in total since our first case was detected on March 19th 2020, with 119 recoveries, and four deaths.

"There are currently 51 active cases of Covid-19 in the country. Four are border quarantine cases, 35 are local cases, and 12 are currently classified as cases of community transmission."

Suva, Fiji, in lockdown, May 2021

Photo: Supplied/ Lice Movono

The lockdown of the central eastern division will expire at 4am on Wednesday 19 May, although the health head has signalled this could change, depending on contact tracing and community testing efforts.

In a statement released last night Dr Fong said the health ministry would decide its next steps from information gathered during lockdown, which he described as "progressing rapidly."

The hard lockdown has been the most stringent containment measure yet, and Dr Fong said it had enabled health teams to find primary and secondary contacts quickly to prevent wider transmission.

"Our game plan will continue to evolve alongside the facts we gather from our testing and tracing, taken together with the best available medical and scientific information.

"What is clear at this stage, is that our war against the virus will not be won in four days."

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