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People's Daily Online

Fiji locks down greater Nadi, Lautoka area following woman tests positive for COVID-19

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 09:51, April 19, 2021

SUVA, April 19 (Xinhua) -- The South Pacific island nation of Fiji on Monday morning locked down its greater Nadi and Lautoka area after a 53-year-old woman, who is a first generation contact of the soldier who tested positive for COVID-19, registered a positive COVID-19 test result, according to a statement from Fiji's Health Ministry.

The ministry said that the greater Nadi and Lautoka area, about 200 km west of capital city of Suva, went into lockdown at 4:00 a.m. Monday and police have imposed a 24-hour curfew.

The 53-year-old woman, who resides in Nadi and had a travel history in Fiji's third largest city of Nadi and Fiji's second largest city of Lautoka, worked in a border quarantine facility but entered public spaces.

The woman's family members have been quarantined and are awaiting results of their COVID-19 tests.

The ministry said the lockdown in the greater Nadi and Lautoka area is to aid rapid contact tracing and reduce the likelihood of further transmission. Passenger travel out of the 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.

Fijians in the area are required to stay at home. Public gatherings should not happen. No services should run except for essential medical services.

Later on Monday, an announcement will cover when essential businesses, including banks, supermarkets, pharmacies, and other essential service providers, may safely resume operation with strict physical distancing measures.

For now, all schools and businesses are closed. For the rest of the island nation, schools, workplaces, businesses and inter-island shipping services may remain open.

However, the ministry is encouraging people to avoid non-essential travel and large gatherings.

Outside the greater Nadi and Lautoka area, curfew hours will remain from 11:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. local time.

The ministry will also re-activate fever clinics within the lockdown area.

The ministry urged all Fijians to adhere to the practices of good handwashing, strict physical distancing, and mask-wearing in public spaces.

Meanwhile, the ministry continues to run COVID-19 tests on the first- and second-generation contacts identified through its contact tracing effort stemming from the border quarantine case announced on Sunday.

On Sunday, a member of Fiji's security forces working within a border quarantine facility in Nadi was detected of COVID-19, which could pose a risk of transmission beyond the border.

The soldier contracted the virus anytime from one to six days prior and he interacted with other daytime staff in the quarantine facility during that time.

Fiji has recorded 74 cases of COVID-19 in total, with seven active cases, 65 recoveries and two deaths, since the first case was reported on March 19 last year.

Fiji maintains strict travel restrictions for foreign visitors alongside a nationwide curfew effective from March 30 last year to ensure safety on the island nation.

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