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By Timoci Vula in Suva

Fiji’s Ministry of Health’s clinical scoping team on the remote southern island of Kadavu has begun to put together a response plan to help escalate its response to an expected wave of severe covid-19 infections and deaths.

On Friday, a total of 47 cases were recorded outside the main island of Viti Levu — 46 on Kadavu, and one at Nabouwalu, Bua, on the second largest island Vanua Levu.

More villagers on Kadavu have tested positive and were among 303 new cases in Fiji reported for the 24 hours to 8am yesterday.

The government also confirmed five people had died, bringing the death toll to 438 – 436 of them from the outbreak that began in April this year.

A key part of the Kadavu response plan is to identify people vulnerable to severe covid and to “pre-emptively engage them in a care plan that allows early identification of danger symptoms and signs and access to clinical care in a timely manner”.

Health Secretary Dr James Fong said the situation in Kadavu remained a major concern and they anticipated their plan would be a challenging exercise.

“Another important part of the response to mitigate severe disease will be community-wide engagement to establish specific plans that help maintain oversight over vulnerable persons, and facilitate their timely transfer to a health care facility when required,” Dr Fong said last night.

Screening continues
He said the public health team was also continuing with screening and isolation protocols.

Dr Fong has also reiterated calls for maritime islanders to refrain from engaging in any unauthorised travel to and from Viti Levu.

All the current protocols to regulate domestic movements must be adhered to in order to prevent spread of the virus beyond Viti Levu, he said.

“We repeat our call to all village leaders and elders to support our current efforts to protect our maritime islands and to immediately report any suspicious movements into your community.”

Timoci Vula is a reporter with The Fiji Times. Republished with permission.

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