Fiji reports five new COVID-19 infections

Fiji reports five new COVID-19 infections

After 605 tests in the last 24 hours, Fiji has reported five new cases of COVID-19 infections.

The Health Ministry announced tonight the first two cases are close household contacts of previously announced cases and that both people had tested positive while secure in quarantine facilities.

Health Secretary Dr James Fong said the third case is a former border quarantine passenger who arrived from Papua New Guinea on 9 April.

Dr Fong said the man had contact with a soldier - the husband of the woman in Makoi - on the day of his discharge from the managed isolation quarantine facility.

He said the fourth case is a 68-year-old man in Rakiraki, while the fifth case is a border quarantine patient.

Fiji now has 116 COVID-19 cases, with 49 active and 28 locally-transmitted patients

New Zealand commits more resources

Aotearoa is to donate 500,000 jabs of COVID-19 vaccines to Fiji, enough to immunise 250,000 people.

The AstraZeneca shots will come from New Zealand's domestic supply and be shipped to Fiji "at the earliest opportunity" according to government ministers from the two countries.

There are several steps to work through including approval of the vaccine by New Zealand's medicines authority, Medsafe.

The ministers met last week (virtually) to discuss New Zealand's offer which includes $US1.45 million to support the vaccine rollout from October this year.

New Zealand's Associate Health and Associate Foreign Minister Aupito William Sio said he was committed to supporting Fiji which had worked hard to contain COVID-19.

"But this success has been hard won," said Aupito. "Following recent community cases in both our countries, we see a vaccine as key to protecting our people from the virus, and for our economic and social recovery."

Fiji's Health Minister Ifereimi Waqainabete said "Fiji has chosen to roll-out AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine" following earlier deliveries through the global Covax facility and from India.

"And we are delighted New Zealand has been able to support us to continue our campaign," Waqainabete said.

"New Zealand is working hard to make that happen as soon as possible with a target of delivery for the third quarter of this year. Under New Zealand Health standards the AstraZeneca vaccine cannot be donated until it's approved by Medsafe," Sio said.