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Six Chinese nationals have been quarantined in Nadi as a precaution against the Novel Coronavirus, after getting off a flight from Samoa on Sunday evening, reports FBC News.
The Ministry of Health confirms their team at the Nadi International Airport received notification from Fiji Airways of six ill Chinese national passengers on the flight from Samoa.
The group were reportedly refused entry into Samoa earlier in the day due to travel restrictions related to the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak.
They had transited through Nadi enroute to Apia via Hong Kong on flight FJ392. It is not clear if the reportedly ill passengers were medically assessed or noted to be ill while being refused entry into Samoa.
Health staff met the flight upon arrival in Nadi at 5.48pm and the six were medically screened, examined by a doctor and assessed, with no fever.
All six are from Fujian province in China and had no history of travel to Wuhan, or Hubei province.
As a precaution, further investigations are underway for one of the passengers, a 71-year-old male, and the group remains under quarantine until they are cleared to fly.
While Fujian province in China has reported 18 confirmed cases of 2019 novel coronavirus, all internationally exported cases to date have had a history of travel to Wuhan in Hubei province- which is the epicenter of the outbreak with over 1000 confirmed cases.
The Health Ministry adds that based on the medical examination and history it is not expected that this is a case – however, taking a cautious approach, quarantine is being maintained for all six until further investigation results are available.
As the world continues to face the growing threat of the Coronavirus, Fiji is fast putting in measures to ensure the flu does not enter the country.
With 17 dead and over 500 people infected, the disease, which started in China has now reached parts of South East Asia, the USA, and Russia.
Chinese Embassy Political Division Director Jiabing Li says Fiji has 13 students studying in Wuhan province, all of whom have been declared safe for the time being.
The flu which has been likened to SARS has already forced the hand of the Chinese government, which has seen Wuhan halting all outbound flights and trains.
Fijians and Chinese nationals have also been urged to refrain from undertaking unnecessary travel to and from China.
“According to a notice from the city of Wuhan they also caution the people not to travel outside and i believe people have taken good consideration about their travel management. The outgoing flights and trains are suspended”.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Acting Permanent Secretary Yogesh Karan says there might be some temporary travel restrictions imposed soon to contain the spread of the virus.
“So, possibly we might be able to introduce mask and travel declaration at their boarders like we prepared for the measles when it was”.
The Fiji Embassy in Beijing continues to ensure that all Fijians in China are well informed of the situation adding that contingency measures have also been mapped out by the Embassy if the need for evacuation arises.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
Media Helping Media