/Dr Fong confirms Fiji has 12 new cases of COVID-19

Dr Fong confirms Fiji has 12 new cases of COVID-19

The Permanent Secretary for Health Doctor James Fong says based on the worrying rise of clusters and cases of COVID-19, he has been working with other permanent secretaries as well as the private sector on scenario-planning based on the results of continuous testing that includes the possibility of a full lockdown of Viti Levu.

Doctor Fong also assures the public that if they take the lockdown route, people will be given ample notice, not within hours, but in days to prepare and for government to allocate resources appropriately.

Doctor Fong says for the lockdown to be decisive, it must be well-planned and prolonged enough to last for the entire incubation period.

He says he wants to make it clear he was not responsible for the panic buying that happened today.

He says essential movement will be highly controlled.

The Permanent Secretary says businesses and the private sector must take on a much higher level of responsibility if they expect to operate at all.

Dr. James Fong says they know that since a large number of close contacts of the Makoi woman who had tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, have now tested positive, this means that there has been a significant amount of movement and potential for transmission of the virus to others.

Dr Fong says the woman’s travel history and the work history of one of her contacts, has required they close three grocery stores in Suva for decontamination.

He says they are also testing the employees and adds those stores are not being closed indefinitely and will re-open as soon as decontamination is completed.

Dr.Fong further says the contact between the woman and members of an adjoining household is troubling and it should serve as a learning opportunity for all of us.

Dr. Fong says please do not party your way into an isolation facility, if you are outside, it must be for an essential reason.

He further says let’s remember, this cluster began with another case of unknown origin, so that means there could still be a contagious case or cases among the public they have yet to identify that may still pose a threat to all of us every time we make the decision to leave our homes.

Dr.Fong reiterates that home is where you are safest and if you leave the home, wear a mask and make sure you have careFIJI installed with the Bluetooth switched on.