COVID-19: Four new cases include an “extremely serious” patient; Lautoka hospital on complete lockdown

Ministry of Health and Medical Services permanent secretary, Dr. James Fong speaks to the media on the latest cases of COVID-19 during a press conference at the Ministry of Health headquarters conference room at Dinem House in Toorak, Suva on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. Picture: FIJIAN GOVERNMENT

Fiji has recorded four more new cases, and among these are two returning peacekeepers from the Golan Heights, and of the two local cases – one a patient at the Lautoka Hospital who has been said to be “extremely serious”.

The 53-year-old patient – admitted for surgical procedure that was successfully performed but later developed respiratory symptoms – was moved into intensive care unit today when his condition deteriorated; and his test result came out positive this evening.

Consequently, Lautoka Hospital was completely locked down within a matter of hours by members of the disciplined forces to prevent the health facility from becoming ground-zero for a wider outbreak.

The Lautoka hospital is now a tightly-contained full-time COVID care facility.

In his daily COVID-19 press briefing this evening, Ministry of Health and Medical Services permanent secretary Dr James Fong said their first priority was to contain the cases they knew about within the hospital.

“More than 400 patients, doctors, nurses, and other staff have been sequestered and will be effectively quarantined within the hospital until we can determine who else may or may not have had contact with this patient, “ Dr Fong said.

“Some staff who have left the hospital have been called back in. RFMF personnel and members of the Police have ring-fenced the entire hospital and will strictly manage who is allowed onto the premises,” he said.

The four new cases were confirmed after 2065 tests conducted since yesterday.

Aside from the two soldiers who are border quarantine cases, and the patient now in serious condition, the other local case is that of a 27-year-old resident of Narere who entered quarantine on April 28 as a contact of one of the cases from Makoi.

Dr Fong said further investigations had revealed that the young woman also had close contact with another case from Makoi during a family gathering on April 17; and she tested positive for COVID-19 this morning.

He said the members of this patient’s household had also been in quarantine from April 29 and all had tested negative for COVID-19 at this time.

Quick facts provided this evening:

  • 4 new cases of COVID-19
  • 2 are border quarantine cases (a 33-year-old and 46-year-old men – they are returning peacekeepers who arrived in Fiji on April 27. They tested positive during routine testing while undergoing their 14-day quarantine in a Government designated quarantine facility in Nadi)
  • 9 more patients have recovered
  • There are now 39 active cases in isolation
  • 8 are border quarantine cases
  • 28 are locally transmitted cases
  • 3 are under investigation to determine their source of transmission – these are Case 116 in Ra, Case 120 who is the 25-year-old doctor, and Case 125 who is the 53-year-old patient at Lautoka hospital)
  • Fiji now has 125 cases of COVID-19 since the first case was detected on March 19, 2020
  • During that time, there has been 84 recoveries and 2 deaths
  • 58,321 lab tests have been conducted since then
  • 1281 daily average tests
  • 5995 weekly average tests
  • 2065 tests conducted yesterday

Source: Dr Alisha Sahu-Khan, COVID-19 daily press briefing, May 5)

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