After 1616 tests in the last 24 hours, Fiji’s Ministry of Health has reported three new cases of Covid-19 infections.

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Fiji has reported three new cases of Covid-19 infections after 1616 tests in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry said.
Health Secretary Dr James Fong announced Sunday night that the latest cases are all linked to case number 136, the man from Saru, Lautoka, who showed Covid-like symptoms when he visited the Natabua Health centre.
Fiji aims to vaccinate 600,000 of its population against Covid-19.
Fong said the man was one of seven people who had tested positive to the virus last Friday.
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“One of the new cases is his wife, another is his daughter, and the third was a primary contact of his wife,” he said.
“All three have been in isolation since Saturday.
“The contact tracers are locating and quarantining their close contacts.
“All other known primary contacts relating to the three have tested negative.”
The ministry said two Covid patients had recovered.
Meanwhile, discussions are underway to get people living in squatter settlements vaccinated, Fong said.
He said since Friday, there had been 10 new cases of Covid-19 nine transmitted locally and one in border quarantine.
Three of the cases were confirmed Sunday by Fong.
The contact tracers are locating and quarantining their close contacts, Fong said.
“All other known primary contacts relating to the three have tested negative.”
He said people living in informal settlements were vulnerable to the virus because of the high population density environment of their communities.
Covid-19 screening and testing underway in Fiji.
Fong said one concern was people lived close together in these “poor neighbourhoods”.
He said discussions were also centred on how to roll out the vaccine programme in informal settlements to achieve the greatest coverage.
“We’ve been talking about how we can probably get to them, maybe we get through employers – especially garment workers if they stay there – then we might be able to vaccinate garment workers and families, that might be one access point.”
Fong said some people had ignored the ministry’s Covid-19 restrictions and moved from contaminant areas on the main island Viti Levu into non-containment areas.
He urged the public to be more vigilant.
“If you are one of these people, or you know one of these people, call 158. We are not looking to dole out punishment.
“We are not going to move you back where you came from. But we are going to ask that you self-isolate at home for the next 14 days.
“Requests to move from Viti Levu to other parts of Fiji, and requests to move from other parts of Fiji to Viti Levu, have all been rejected.”
Fong said people should plan to remain where they are for the foreseeable future.
He said Fiji Emergency Medical Assistance Team had set up the 150-bed non-Covid field hospital, with clear patient care flow pathways to ensure patients could securely move to other hospitals and healthcare facilities, if necessary.
“In just over two weeks, we have screened more than 317,000 Fijians through our stationary and mobile screening operations.
“But due to the nature of the virus and its 14-day incubation period, screening once is not enough.
“A screening is just a snapshot, and a person who shows no symptoms today or tests negative today can show symptoms or test positive tomorrow.”
So communities that have been screened should expect to be screened again, he said.
Fong said at the moment, no policy response is off the table including targeted lockdowns of certain areas and even a lockdown of the whole of Viti Levu.
“If this happens, it will be announced with a deliberate, well-informed and detailed plan.
“For now, our investigations around new cases in Suva, Nausori and Lami areas have indicated those containment areas should be maintained for at least another week.
“Through the ministries of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport and the Economy, we are working with industry partners on Covid-safe risk assessments to explore how and when some industries may operate in carefully-managed ways within containment areas.”
Fiji’s Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama visit Fiji’s Centre for Disease Control.
Fong said the careFIJI contact tracing app was paramount to these operations.
He said the ministry would announce this week how the containment protocols would cater for more Covid-safe essential business operations.
“We will be lifting the lockdown of Wainitarawau Settlement in Cunningham Suva and the Vuniwai Settlement in Taveuni from 4am Monday.”
Sunday was Mother’s Day and Fong congratulated the women front-line workers.
“Let’s respect the sacrifice of the hardworking mothers of Fiji, today and every day, by showing them solidarity through our adherence to the Covid measures meant to protect us.”
Fiji has 38 Covid-19 cases in isolation facilities, seven are border quarantine cases, 26 locally transmitted cases and five are being investigated to determine their source of transmission.