Statement by the Acting Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services on New COVID-19 Case – Monday, 20 July 2020

Today we are announcing one new border quarantine case of COVID-19 – a 50-year-old female. Like the eight border quarantine cases announced since July 6th this latest case is a repatriated Fijian citizen from the flight from India that arrived on July 1st, and she is also the wife of one of the earlier announced border quarantine cases from this flight. When her husband tested positive they were both moved from the government designated quarantine facility to the isolation facility at Lautoka Hospital. 

She had tested negative on the first round of testing conducted for all passengers, but tested positive during the second round of testing. As she is a close contact of a known case it is not unexpected that she has also tested positive. She remains at the isolation facility at Lautoka Hospital and is currently asymptomatic.

This new case brings to a total of nine border quarantine cases announced since Monday 6th July –– all are repatriated Fijian citizens that arrived via the same flight from India that landed in Nadi on July 1st.

The rest of the passengers from the flight tested negative for COVID-19 during the second round of testing in Fiji. This means they all registered three negative COVID-19 test results – one before departure from India, the second soon after arrival into Fiji, and the third by the end of the mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

All the passengers on the flight were kept under strict border quarantine conditions from the moment they arrived, including completing 14 days quarantine in government designated quarantine facilities, where they are supervised by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and screened daily for symptoms by staff from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services. They were cleared and released at the end of the 14-day quarantine period.

As an added precaution the frontline staff at the border quarantine facilities holding these passengers were also tested for COVID-19 – all have tested negative. I will again re-emphasize here: so long as our border quarantine and infection prevention control protocols are upheld there is no risk to the Fijian public from border quarantine cases.

Dr James Fong

Acting Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services