27 Sep 2021

Focus now on another remote Fiji island as pair test positive to Covid-19

7:31 am on 27 September 2021

The remote island of Ovalau in Fiji is the new area of interest after two people in quarantine tested positive for Covid-19, health authorities said.

Levuka Town in Ovalau, Fiji.

Levuka Town in Ovalau, Fiji. Photo: Supplied

Ovalau is the sixth largest island in Fiji and lies south-east of the mainland Viti Levu. There are just over 9000 residents on Ovalau in the Lomaiviti Group.

The Government said the focus was now on the area after the pair isolated in Ovalau's main town of Levuka returned positive results for Covid-19. Levuka was the former capital of Fiji.

Health Secretary James Fong said another four quarantine cases that also tested positive have been confirmed as historical cases.

He said contact tracing was underway for the new cases who remained at the isolation facility and were monitored by the Levuka health team.

Internal repatriation to Ovalau had been suspended, Dr Fong said.

New cases

He also confirmed 160 new cases of Covid-19 in the community and one in border quarantine on Sunday

Six people had died, aged between 65 and 91, with four at home and two at the hospital - one of them declared dead on arrival.

Dr Fong said four of the deaths from July were being reported on Saturday because of a delay in the issuance of the official death certificates.

He said the new border quarantine case - a 23-year-old man from Tokyo - had arrived in Fiji on 12 September.

He said the man's entry swab on 16 September returned a negative result. He was reported to have become symptomatic on day nine of his mandatory 14-day quarantine in the managed facility.

Dr Fong said the man's swab on day 11 (Sept 23) returned a positive result.

"As per protocol, he has been retrieved and transferred to a managed Isolation Facility in Nadi.

"He is currently noted to be in a stable condition and the disinfection process of his room and linen have been completed by the onsite health quarantine officer.

"All front-line workers and accompanying passengers who were in contact with this individual have been included in the routine weekly swabbing schedules and the front-liner surveillance schedules."

Front-line workers at the swab drive-through in Vunimono, Nausori.

Front-line workers at the swab drive-through in Vunimono, Nausori. Photo: Ministry of Health, Fiji

Dr Fong said of the latest cases, 33 were from the remote islands.

Movement restrictions remain in force for the maritime zone, he said.

"Ten new cases have been reported in Yaro Village on Malolo Island in the last 24 hours bringing the total number of cases to 82.

"Of the 72 cases on the island, 57 cases have recovered and the 25 remaining active cases are monitored daily by the health team.

"Contact tracings continue for the village of Solevu and rations have been distributed to affected families. One high-risk case is admitted at Lautoka Hospital.

"Thirteen new cases were recorded in the villages of Nalawaki, Yalobi, Naboro, and Namara villages on Waya Island, bringing the total number of cases to 44.

"Of these, 26 have recovered to date and 18 remain active cases and are under home isolation in their villages with a daily assessment conducted by the Yalobi nursing station health team.

Health team visiting villages

"Eleven new cases were reported on Nacula, bringing the total to 149 and all the patients remain in home isolation in their respective villages and are monitored daily by the health team from the Nacula health centre," Fong said.

"The health team is visiting villages in the medical area and conducting monitoring for the contact cases and screening for the villagers."

Fiji has recorded 50,701 cases since the first case was reported in March 2020, with 36,608 recoveries. 50,631 of these cases were recorded during the outbreak that started in April 2021.

There have been 84 new recoveries to report since the last update.

The Ministry had updated its target population for the vaccine rollout - 618,173 people. The revised vaccination coverage rates are 95.6 percent for adults who have received at least one dose, and 68.8 percent now fully vaccinated.

Fiji has 13,067 active cases in isolation with the death toll at 590, 588 of them from the latest outbreak that began in April this year.

Levuka Hospital.

Levuka Hospital. Photo: Supplied

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