COVID-19: High-risk case detected on a member of our security forces

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama speaks during a press conference in Suva. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU/FILE

A high-risk case of COVID-19 within a border quarantine facility was detected on a member of our security forces.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama confirmed this in statement this morning saying yesterday they became aware of a new border quarantine case that could pose a risk of transmission beyond the border which requires immediate steps, from all of us, to mitigate.

Mr Bainimarama said this case of the virus has been detected during a routine test of a member of our security forces working within a quarantine facility.

“We know he contracted the virus anytime from one to six days prior and that he interacted with other daytime staff in the quarantine facility during that time,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“That means there may have been some exposure outside of the facility that we have to manage,” he said.

“When it comes to containing a disease as insidious as the coronavirus, the risks are simply too high to take chances. We have known that from Day One. And we are responding to this case with the same extreme precaution we have employed from the start of the pandemic.

“Last night, we began entering into quarantine staff who were working in the facility during the potential window for transmission and also members of their households.”

Mr Bainimarama said there are some factors working in our favour.

“Number one, the soldier had received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“That means his risk of severe infection is reduced and it is likely his risk of transmission was lower.

“But that doesn’t mean we can afford to take any chances.

“Particularly given the rise of new and more contagious variants of COVID-19 around the world. If he hadn’t received that first dose, the risk to him and others would have been much higher.”

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