COVID-19: Lockdown for Nadi and Lautoka effective immediately

Police at the Natalau checkpoint in Lautoka last year. PM Voreqe Bainimarama has warned Fijians intending to disregard border protection measures that they would be dealt with according to the seriousness of the offence. Picture: BALJEET SINGH/FILE

A lockdown of the greater Nadi and Lautoka area has been activated from 4am this morning.

This after a 53-year-old woman who is one of the first generation contact of the soldier who had earlier contracted the virus within the quarantine facility in Nadi has registered a positive COVID-19 test result.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services in a statement said this woman worked in a border quarantine facility, but has since entered public spaces.

She resides in Nadi, with a travel history in Nadi and Lautoka.

“We are defining the Greater Nadi and Lautoka Area as the area spanning from Momi Junction and the Mulomulo Post bearing towards Sigatoka, to Nacilau, Vakabuli, and the Waiwai crossing bearing towards Ba,” the statement said.

“Passenger travel out of this area has been halted by road, air, and sea.

“Passenger travel into the area will be permitted over the next 24 hours for Fijians who reside within the Greater Nadi and Lautoka Area.

“However, those allowed to enter the area must head straight home and will not be allowed to come out of the lockdown area.”

The Ministry says within the Greater Nadi and Lautoka Area, effective immediately, the Fiji Police Force is enforcing a 24-hour curfew.

“All Fijians should stay home. Public gatherings should not happen. No services should run except for essential medical services. Later today, an announcement will cover when essential businesses, including banks, supermarkets, pharmacies, and other essential service providers, may safely resume operation with strict physical distancing enforced. For now, all schools and businesses will be closed.”

However for the rest of Fiji, schools, workplaces, businesses and inter-island shipping services may remain open.

“We encourage people to avoid non-essential travel and large gatherings. Outside of the Greater Nadi and Lautoka Area, curfew hours will remain from 11pm to 4am.

“We will also be re-activating fever clinics within the Greater Nadi and Lautoka Area to keep people with fevers away from vulnerable people who visit Health Centres and into separate, dedicated spaces specially designed to effectively identify possible COVID-19 cases.

“It is vital that all Fijians adhere to the practices of good handwashing, strict physical distancing, where possible, and mask-wearing in public spaces. If you are feeling unwell, stay home and report your symptoms to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

“The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is more equipped than we have ever been to contain the spread of the virus together. We have seen the proven impact that health restrictions have had on cutting chains of transmission. By relying on these measures and adhering to the advice from relevant authorities, we can save lives and keep Fiji safe.”

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