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COVID-19 stopped in its tracks, testing now more extensive says Fiji Health Minister
11:03 pm GMT+12, 27/05/2020, Fiji

Fiji's Health Minister, Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete says they are currently running more than 30 tests a day for COVID-19.
 
In a ministerial statement in Parliament, the Health Minister says Fiji has stopped the Coronavirus in its tracks.
 
Dr Waqainabete says given their comprehensive surveillance and testing for the disease, it’s safe to say that Fiji has no other community transmission of COVID-19 with only three of the 18 initial cases still active.
 
“As of the 26 May, 2020, we had conducted a total of 2431 tests which averages 33 tests per day, this equates to 2.47 tests per a thousand population, furthermore we are doing 121.5 tests per confirmed case so that means we generate 123 tests to have one case positive.”
 
The Health Minister also told Parliament that with their extensive testing, they have also set up 10 sentinel testing sites across the country to enhance their existing capacity.
 
Dr Waqainabete also noted that nationwide fever clinics, of which they are 40 and the many mobile fever clinics that were carried out, more than 830 000 Fijians have been screened.
 
He said the Fiji Centre for Disease Control remains the central lab testing facility in Fiji and samples from ten sentinel sites are sent here for testing.
 
As part of this ministerial address on Fiji’s response to the global pandemic, Dr Waqainabete noted that to date more than 2,400 Fijians have been screened for the virus.
 
18 cases in total have been confirmed, 15 of which have recovered, with only three now active.
 
Dr Waqainabete says part of Fiji’s extensive surveillance and monitoring of the virus has been made possible with strategic establishments to allow for more testing.
 
“We have also identified health facilities in the public and private sector division in the country to be sentinel testing sites and they are now testing patients with respiratory symptoms for COVID-19 adding further surveillance capability.”
 
The Health Minister also told the House that effective response had been made possible with an all government approach that included political will, increased budgetary support and a multi-agency steering committee to name a few.
 
He said all these efforts and that of all the front-line medical staff as well as law enforcement personnel has enabled Fiji to not only fight the pandemic, but to be on the cusp of defeating it entirely.
 
Meanwhile, in the Opposition ranks, Pio Tikoduadua while commending the response efforts, also highlighted the need to look beyond the health crisis and that the economic and social effects of the virus and it’s evident toll on Fiji given the recent mass termination on Monday of 758 staffs from Fiji Airways.
 
Tikoduadua also questioned the Health Minister on why there wasn’t an inclusion in his ministerial address of a break-down of their COVID-19 budget of $40 million (US$20 million) which was allocated to the Ministry on 27 March.

SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS


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