“We are certain there are more cases out there”: Dr Fong

Fiji has a new case of COVID-19, and Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for Health says “we are certain there are more cases out there.”

The new case is the daughter of the Nadi hotel worker working at a quarantine hotel, who herself contracted COVID-19 from a soldier also working in the quarantine centre.

The mother, her daughter and 11 family members travelled to a funeral in Tavakubu, Lautoka using a minibus last Friday. All passengers and the driver are in quarantine.

However the drivers of other minibuses and a taxi used by the mother and various relatives to travel between Nadi and Tavakubu on Friday night and Saturday are still being sought.

The funeral is now being treated as potential superspreader event as the health ministry believes at least 500 people attended.

The COVID-positive woman and her daughter travelled with people from Naicabecabe, Motoriki during one leg of their journey. That village is now a second containment area, after Nadi-Lautoka. Health officials are awaiting the results of their COVID tests. 

House to house screening will be undertaken in Nadi and Lautoka. The government says it has the capacity to run 600 tests every day for two weeks. 

Authorities have asked that people within the Lautoka and  Nadi area restrict their movement to the essential travel, saying they need everyone at home as often as possible.

There’s no information as yet as to how many people at the funeral had the CareFiji app installed and operating.

PS Dr James Fong reiterated “the problem is the virus, not any one person.”

Meanwhile, two  more border quarantine cases have been announced. They are Fiji soldiers returning from overseas, and have been transferred to the isolation ward at Lautoka hospital. This means there are ten active cases currently  admitted at Lautoka isolation unit.