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By Koroi Tadulala, FBC News multimedia journalist

Fiji’s Ministry of Health says it is aware of concerns about the high number of frontline healthcare workers testing positive.

However, Health Protection Head Dr Aalisha Sahukhan said these people played a critical role in the war against the virus.

The frontline healthcare workers cannot stay home because of the role they play, she said.

“If our frontline workers stayed home, there would be no response to this outbreak. And there would be nobody left to care for sick patients whether they have covid or not. They protect themselves as best as they can.”

Dr Sahukhan said some of the staff from the Incident Management Team (IMT) had been impacted on by the virus recently.

“This concern is understandable and I know what you’re thinking. How are they getting infected?

“Aren’t they following the advice that they are giving us? First of all, covid-19 is a highly transmissible and contagious virus. It spreads very easily in crowded spaces.”

Dr Aalisha Sahukhan said the frontline healthcare workers were swabbed twice a week because of the nature of the work they did.

She said most of them have not seen their families for weeks as they pushed on with their groundwork in testing and swabbing Fijians.

Health authorities reported 35 new cases of covid-19 yesterday for a total of 880 and four deaths since the virus first impacted on Fiji.

Republished with permission.

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