Fiji records six new cases of COVID-19 amid outbreak

Fiji has recorded six new cases of COVID-19 on top of the 12 reported overnight.

The country's Government is hoping the lockdown around the capital Suva will help overcome the outbreak, with more than 30,000 people living in the containment area now being screened.

Life in Suva is anything but idyllic right now. For those shops still able to open, basic food items have been selling faster than normal and there are reports of price gouging by some businesses after the capital was locked down in an attempt to regain control over the spread of COVID-19. 

Fiji's Ministry of Health permanent secretary Dr James Fong urged Fijians to "stay the course and follow the measures that are necessary to contain this outbreak in order to get us back to normal".

But normal is some time off as health authorities plan to screen 31,000 residents inside the containment area.

Border checkpoints have been set up to monitor anyone trying to enter or exit the region. 

"Our containment areas are necessary and unavoidable because they're the only way to stop the virus from spreading," Dr Fong said.

Police are checking everyone's work documents to ensure no one can slip through. 

Tuesday's six new cases take the total number of active cases to 42, all of which are believed to be the Indian variant.

Government messaging has ramped up, telling residents: "Don't put your family at risk - Coronavirus could be in your home".

But there is some relief after a mystery infection turned out to be the wife of a soldier working at an MIQ facility.

"He does not pose a risk of transmission to the public as he had been contained within the quarantine facility since April 18," Dr Fong said.

The vaccine rollout has been sped up and more than 700 people on average are being tested every day.

The country is hoping the speed and severity of the lockdown is enough to keep the virus under control.