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2020 coronavirus pandemic in Fiji

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2020 coronavirus pandemic in Fiji
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationFiji
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
Index caseLautoka
Arrival date19 March 2020 (2020-03-19)
(2 weeks and 2 days ago)
Confirmed cases7
Recovered0
Deaths
0
Official website
Health.gov.fj

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was reported to have spread to Fiji on 19 March 2020. A total of 7 cases have been confirmed as of 2 April 2020.

Timeline

COVID-19 cases in Fiji  ()
     Deaths        Recoveries        Active cases
Date
# of cases
2020-03-19
1(n.a.)
2020-03-20
1(=)
2020-03-21
2(+100%)
2020-03-22
2(=)
2020-03-23
3(+50%)
2020-03-24
4(+33%)
2020-03-25
5(+25%)
5(=)
2020-04-02
7(+40%)
Sources:

February 2020

On 3 February, the Government of Fiji toughened border security. Borders were closed to foreign nationals who have been in mainland China within 14 days of their intended travel to Fiji.[1] Measures to maintain a hygienic environment and screening ill passengers will continue to be taken in-flight to further minimise any risk.[2]

On 27 February, Fiji extended its travel ban and announced that travellers from Italy, Iran and the South Korean cities of Daegu and Cheongdo would be denied entry. From 28 February, all cruise ships entering Fiji have been required to make first berths at ports in Suva and Lautoka, where passengers undergo medical and travel history checks.[3]

March 2020

On 15 March, Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama had announced that from 16 March cruise ships will be banned from berthing anywhere in Fiji and international events will not be allowed in Fiji. Government ministers and staff will be restricted from travelling overseas.[4]

On 19 March, Fiji confirmed its first case, a 27 year old Fijian citizen who is a flight attendant of Fiji Airways. He had arrived from San Francisco returning via Nadi on 16 March. On 17 March, he had travelled from Nadi to Auckland and a return from Auckland to Nadi on the same day. He was admitted to Lautoka Hospital. [5] Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama announced a further extension of the ban to foreign nationals who have been present in the United States, as well as all of Europe including the United Kingdom. Also all travellers arriving in or returning to Fiji from outside of the country must self-isolate for 14 days.[6]

On 20 March, all schools and non-essential businesses in Lautoka had been closed at midnight, however banks, supermarkets, pharmacies and essential businesses remained open.[7][8] The Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Rosy Akbar in consultation with the Prime Minister announced that the national term one school holidays that was initially scheduled from 20 April to 1 May will be brought forward to 23 March to 3 April.[9] Fiji Airways had suspended all international flights until the end of May, with the exception of twice-weekly services between Singapore and Nadi.[10] The government had established two fever clinics in Lautoka.[11]

On 21 March, Fiji confirmed its second case, it was the first local transmission case through household contact. She is the mother of the first patient and is admitted in Nadi Hospital. Other family members are in quarantine and being monitored.[12]

On 23 March, Fiji confirmed its third case, a one-year-old nephew of the first patient.[13] The government established eight fever clinics around the country with six clinics running in Nasinu, Labasa, Savusavu, and Nabouwalu.Two others have been running in Lautoka since 20 March.[14]

On 24 March, Fiji confirmed its fourth case, a 28-year-old Fijian citizen, who had returned from Sydney over the weekend and is not related to the first three cases. He and his immediate family members are in quarantine and being monitored at the Navua Hospital.[15] Fiji Airways had suspended all Singapore and Hong Kong flights after the two countries introduced its border restrictions.[16]

On 25 March, Fiji confirmed its fifth case, a 31-year-old Fijian citizen from Lautoka. She was in contact with the first case, the flight attendant.[17] Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama had announced that Nadi International Airport will shut down from 26 March and all local shipping services will cease from 29 March.[18]

On 26 March, Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum revealed the COVID-19 response budget.[19]

On 27 March, Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama announced a nationwide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. that would take effect on 30 March.[20]

On 30 March, Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Rosy Akbar announced that the school holidays will be extended for another two weeks until 17 April.[21]

April 2020

On 1 April, Minister for Heath and Medical Services Ifereimi Waqainabete announced that the Lautoka lock down will be extended till Tuesday to ensure that no COVID-19 cases left undetected.[22]

On 2 April, Fiji confirmed two cases, a Fijian couple from Suva. Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama stated that the sixth case is a 21-year-old woman and the seventh case is her 33-year-old husband. They are in isolation at Navua Hospital. Due to this, the Prime Minister announced that Suva will be going into a lockdown effective from 3 April at 5 a.m. Also, the government renewed the national curfew where it will start from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.[23]

Impacts

  • A surge of panic shoppers were seen shopping in supermarkets in Lautoka, Suva and Labasa.[24]
  • The Ministry of Education cancelled the Coca-Cola Games.[25]
  • The Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) had suspended all forms of rugby competition.[26]
  • Reserve Bank of Fiji reduced its overnight policy rate (OPR) to 0.25 percent from 0.50 percent.[27]
  • Tourism Fiji says consumer confidence in travel is currently really low.[28]
  • Reserve Bank of Fiji forecast the domestic economy to fall into a recession after almost a decade of economic growth.[29]
  • The TISI Sangam Convention had cancelled the 2020 annual event.[30]
  • Fiji Football had postponed all its scheduled matches, meetings and workshops.[31]
  • Construction Industry seeing a downturn where raw materials are running out.[32]
  • Nurses facing unprecedented physical and psychological challenges.[33]

References

  1. ^ "Fiji toughens on border entry amidst coronavirus concerns". Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 2 February 2020. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  2. ^ Limited, Communications Fiji. "Fiji's borders closed to all foreign nationals who have been in China within 14 days of their travel to Fiji". fijivillage.com. Archived from the original on 9 March 2020. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  3. ^ "Coronavirus: Fiji extends travel ban amid growing concerns". amp.rnz.co.nz. Archived from the original on 28 February 2020. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  4. ^ "PM announces new COVID-19 measures, including ban on cruise ships". fbcnews.com.fj. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  5. ^ "COVID-19 patient is a 27-year-old flight attendant who had recent travel history to USA and NZ - Dr. Sahukhan". Fiji Village. 19 March 2020. Archived from the original on 20 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  6. ^ News, Indra Singh Manager. "PM announces major restrictions including closure of some services due to COVID-19". Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  7. ^ "COVID-19: Fiji widens existing travel restrictions to include Spain". FijiTimes. Archived from the original on 18 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  8. ^ "COVID-19: Lautoka schools closed until further notice". FijiTimes. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  9. ^ "First term school holidays brought forward". Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 20 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  10. ^ N, Edwin; FBCNews. "Fiji Airways suspends flights, implements leave without pay". Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 20 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  11. ^ "COVID-19: Fever clinics set up in Lautoka". FijiTimes. Archived from the original on 20 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  12. ^ News, Indra Singh Manager. "Fiji's second COVID-19 case recorded". Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 21 March 2020. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  13. ^ News, Indra Singh Manager. "Toddler is Fiji's third COVID-19 patient". Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  14. ^ "Eight fever clinics now open". Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  15. ^ News, Indra Singh Manager. "Fiji's fourth COVID-19 case confirmed". Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  16. ^ "Fiji suspends all Singapore and Hong Kong flights". Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  17. ^ News, Indra Singh Manager. "Fiji's fifth COVID-19 case confirmed in Lautoka". Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  18. ^ News, Indra Singh Manager. "Nadi Airport to close, shipping services end Sunday". Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  19. ^ "Covid-19: Fiji govt unveils $US400m stimulus package". Radio NZ. 27 March 2020. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  20. ^ "COVID-19: Nationwide curfew to come into effect from Monday". The Fiji Times. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  21. ^ "School holidays extended for another two weeks". Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  22. ^ News, Indra Singh Manager. "Lautoka lockdown extended to Tuesday". Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  23. ^ News, Indra Singh Manager. "Fiji confirms latest cases of COVID-19, Suva in lockdown from tomorrow". Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  24. ^ "Shoppers buying in bulk". FijiTimes. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  25. ^ "Coca Cola Games cancelled". Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  26. ^ "ALL FORMS OF RUGBY CANCELLED". FIJI TV. Archived from the original on 20 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  27. ^ "COVID-19: Reserve Bank Reduce Overnight Policy Rate". Archived from the original on 18 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  28. ^ Fijivillage. "Consumer confidence in travel is currently really low - Tourism Fiji". www.fijivillage.com. Archived from the original on 20 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  29. ^ "Fiji's central bank forecasts recession in domestic economy". The Fiji Times. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  30. ^ "TISI Sangam cancels 2020 Annual TISI Sangam Convention due to COVID-19". www.fijivillage.com. Archived from the original on 21 March 2020. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  31. ^ "Fiji FA calls off matches, events". The Fiji Times. Archived from the original on 22 March 2020. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  32. ^ "Construction Industry seeing a downturn due to COVID-19". Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  33. ^ "Nurses can face unprecedented mental challenges". Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
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