No new COVID-19 cases, stay on course

Minister for Health Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete in a press conference after a parliament sitting. Picture: RAMA/FT FILE

It’s always encouraging when we get the news that there are no new cases of the COVID-19 in Fiji.

That being the case, it is encouraging to note that we have not recorded a new case over the past one month.

That in itself is reassuring.

Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said, of the 18 confirmed cases, 15 had recovered and the remaining three patients were in a stable condition.

“We are aware that the patients have been well and are without any symptoms,” he said.

“Our tests are sensitive as it is able to pick out the virus or a remnant of the virus when it clears from the system and as it continues to register, we have continued with the clinical pathways that’s in place.”

It’s his commitment to staying on course that should make us sit up and take notice.

“We will continue to support the population at large and are significantly making sure we don’t have a second and third wave in Fiji.”

As a nation we have the power to cut out a second and third wave.

That will mean maintaining vigilance and staying on course in the new normal we are now living.

Dr Waqainabete said there were cases around the world where patients continued to test positive over a long period of time.

The Health Ministry, he said, followed World Health Organization testing criteria in identifying possible cases.

Some nations around the world are now going through the very real threat of a second wave of the pandemic.

The fact that our cases had to spend weeks in isolation, and the fact that we still have some of them in hospital should be a reminder for us all of the impact of the virus.

This is no joke.

We may sound like a broken record, or one that is permanently on replay mode, but that’s OK.

We must remind ourselves about the importance of social distancing.

We must remember to reduce unnecessary travel, and as much as possible, avoid mass gatherings.

It is very important that we do away with the hand shake, and hugs.

We must reduce contact with others as much as possible.

When you are out and about, avoid touching your face.

Wash your hands often with soap and water.

Sneeze into your elbow or into a tissue and dispose this immediately safely.

If you have to go out, adhere to the safe 2m distance rule.

We have the power to keep the virus at bay.

That starts from within us.

That means cutting out complacency, and being part of the solution.

Don’t mind the comparison to the record on permanent replay mode.

This is about keeping you and your loved ones safe.

Sometimes we need to be reminded to stay on course, and in this case, don’t mind if that is done often.

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