Dead Fijian peacekeeper had Covid-19: UN Mission

The United Nations Peacekeeping Mission says a Fijian soldier who died of a heart attack in Iraq last week had tested positive for COVID-19.

The UN mission in New York said the deceased has been identified as senior nurse Warrant Officer Tomasi Dau Saumadu.

José Luis Díaz, of the UN Peacekeeping Strategic Communications Department, told the Fiji Times newspaper the Fijian soldier was with the UN Guard Unit (UNGU).

Mr Díaz said the soldier had died on March 30 in Baghdad.

He said that as of April 2 and having conducted extensive Covid testing, the UN department could confirm that within the Baghdad-based UNGU, there were 90 positive cases among the 372 UNGU members.

Díaz said the soldier was among the Covid-19 positive cases and had mild symptoms.

Díaz said the UN Mission in Iraq had conveyed its condolences to the UNGU and the soldier’s family and friends for their loss.

He said in honour of his contribution, the mission flew the United Nations flag throughout Iraq at half-mast on March 30.

Díaz said all members of the UNGU, including Fijian soldiers who had tested positive, were in quarantine.

“The majority are asymptomatic,” he said. “Thirty-three have symptoms, mostly mild.”

“All cases are being closely monitored by the UN medical team and those requiring treatments are receiving full medical attention.”

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