Asia - Pacific, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Fiji imposes lockdown after COVID-19 community case

24-hour curfew in select areas, high-risk business closed for 2 weeks

Riyaz Ul Khaliq   | 19.04.2021
Fiji imposes lockdown after COVID-19 community case

ANKARA

Fiji imposed a lockdown in two of its largest cities on Monday after the Pacific island nation recorded its first case of COVID-19 community transmission in months.

Health authorities said the case was a 53-year-old woman who was in close contact with a soldier who contracted coronavirus at a border quarantine facility.

"To aid rapid contact tracing and reduce the likelihood of further transmission, we are announcing a lockdown of the Greater Nadi and Lautoka Area, starting from 4 a.m. this morning," the Health and Medical Services Ministry said in a statement.

Authorities barred passenger travel by air, road, or sea, and police are enforcing a 24-hour curfew in the mentioned areas. All Fijians have been advised to stay home.

“Public gatherings should not happen. No services should run except for essential medical services,“ the statement said, adding that high-risk businesses such as gyms, movie theatres, video gaming shops, cyber cafes, and bars cannot open for the next two weeks at least.

“Restaurants may not open for in-person dining but may offer delivery and takeaway services. No religious services are to be held. Non-work gatherings should not happen at all."

Schools have also been closed for the next three weeks, with Education Minister Rosy Akbar urging all parents "to encourage good hygiene practices at home and to ensure the movement of their children is restricted."

The government said that the situation is "rapidly evolving," and "if we identify new cases, new restrictions will come into effect, and the containment area may grow, or constrict to more targeted regions."

Fiji has largely contained the virus through strict isolation measures and border controls, recording just 72 cases and two deaths in a population of over 900,000. It started the vaccination drive in March after receiving doses from the UN-led COVAX facility.

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