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SUVA,FIJI- APRIL 20,2021 (FIJI TIMES/FBC NEWS/PACNEWS): There is still no link between anyone attending the funeral in Tavakubu and the rugby tournament in Lautoka over the weekend says Fiji’s Ministry of Health permanent secretary Dr James Fong at Monday ’s press conference.

Dr Fong said the 53-year-old woman who had been recorded as Fiji’s first community transmission case in over a year attended a funeral in Tavakubu over the weekend.

He said the link had not yet been made because the funeral and the games occurred at the same time.

“As I’ve said, one of the areas of interest or area of concern at the moment is the funeral area and I still haven’t got a link between anyone attending the funeral and going to the games,” Dr Fong said.

“It is unlikely because the funeral occurred while the game was on, it was on a Friday and a Saturday and we haven’t seen any overlap.”

Although no link had yet been established, he said the possibility could not be ruled out.

“Having said that, we cannot rule it out and the point is if we keep asking the questions, we may get more information that dictates that we’ll have to look at those other events and we may have new areas of concern wherein if people had gone there, we would have to move into a higher level of quarantine and restriction.

“The information that we are getting from the person and the event that they attended to which was the funeral at Tavakubu, all indicate that apart from three individuals, who went all the way to Moturiki, and we’ve tracked them, we’ve got them,” he said.

“The rest of those who were at the funeral were within Lautoka, from a church circuit within the Lautoka area and they all reside within the Lautoka area,” said Dr Fong.

He said the ministry’s team in the west had a boundary they had maintained and would be screening the people within that boundary.

He also said fixed and mobile screening clinics would be set up throughout Lautoka and Nadi.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says Fijians need to be vigilant.

He stressed one should not let the past year of freedom from the virus lure all into a false sense of safety.

Bainimarama said Fiji has enjoyed 365 days of COVID-containment which has made everyone far too comfortable with the pandemic that continued to rage beyond our shores.

 

He said social distancing has been ignored, masks have gathered dust tucked away in drawers, and businesses went back to operating as usual.

 

The Prime Minister said the healthy habits learned 12 months ago have been forgotten.

 

“But over the course of the past year, the science has become even clearer that mask-wearing and physical distancing is absolutely essential to stop the virus from spreading. So now, more than ever, we need every woman, man, and child, and every business of every size, to go back to following that proven rule book.”

He said this is why they are enforcing the same, strict containment measures that have proven successful in the past.

Bainimarama said their contact tracing team is working overtime to identify and isolate every known contact of this latest case.

He is urging Fijians to assist in defeating the virus.

The PM is also urging Fijians living in the containment area to wear masks as it’s important.

“We can’t win this battle without you. You all play a pivotal part in our containment efforts. We need every Fijian to do their part to contain this virus, and each and every one of you can help us again defeat this disease.

“I hope we all remember the screening clinics we relied on last year to screen for cases of the virus. We are re-activating that network of screening clinics across the country to keep those with COVID-like symptoms away from vulnerable people who visit Health Centres and into separate, dedicated spaces specially designed to effectively identify possible COVID-19 cases. If you have a fever, or any symptoms, like a dry cough or a loss of taste, visit one of these clinics immediately.

If we identify new cases, new restrictions will come into effect. The containment area may grow, or constrict to more targeted regions,” said Bainimarama……

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