As advised by the Honourable Prime Minister in his national address on 14 February 2020, cases of novel coronavirus –– now officially designated as COVID-19 by the World Health Organization –– have steadily risen in China and around the globe.
As of today there are no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in Fiji. All prior suspected cases showing the slightest indication of COVID-19 have been resolved quickly and decisively, and –– out of an abundance of care –– samples from all those with symptoms and recent travel history to China have been tested in labs in Australia.
All have come back negative.
In his address, the Prime Minister also reaffirmed the Fijian Government’s decision to restrict entry into the country by foreign nationals who have been in mainland China within 14 days of their intended travel to Fiji.
The Ministry is taking further proactive, preventative measures –– namely, identifying and preparing a number of isolation facilities throughout Fiji in order to safely contain any suspected or confirmed cases in the country.
These precautionary steps are being guided by WHO and similar preventative measures are being undertaken around the world to prevent outbreaks of COVID-19.
As part of this undertaking, preventative isolation units in the Western, Central and Northern divisions are being prepared. Nadi Hospital and the Navua Hospital have already had isolation wards established.
The Ministry wishes to dispel counterproductive and fear-inducing rumours that have spread about our ongoing preparations at Navua Hopsital.
There are no planes of COVID-19-positive foreign nationals en route to Fiji, and Navua Hospital will not be converted into a quarantine unit for other nations.
This is a routine, precautionary measure taken in line with best practices.
No risk is posed to residents in Navua. In fact, the presence of the isolation unit means the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak is dramatically reduced.
The Ministry is deeply concerned to see certain individuals abuse their position to exploit, rather than condemn, false information being spread about the Navua Hospital.
This sort of interference in the Ministry’s work impedes our ability to mitigate the risk posed by COVID-19 to the Fijian people.
The Ministry also shares the Prime Minister’s condemnation of the false reporting by the Fiji Times implying that cruise ship passengers arriving in Suva were not adequately screened prior to entering Fiji.
These passengers were screened thoroughly at the port-of-entry in Lautoka the moment they arrived in the country.
Baseless, inaccurate reporting of this nature comes directly at the expense of the Ministry’s work to uphold Fijian health and wellbeing and it cannot be tolerated.
We ask that all Fijians help combat misinformation by relying only trusted sources of information for their COVID-19 updates; namely, WHO, the Ministry of Health & Medical Services, and the Prime Minister’s official video addresses to the nation.
If you or anyone you are in close contact with have been to mainland China in the last 14 days and develop any of the symptoms –– fever, cough or difficulty breathing –– immediately contact the Ministry on one of the following numbers: Central: 2219905 Eastern: 2219906 Western: 2219907 Northern: 2219908