Twelve new cases in Fiji, but no lockdown

Tuesday 11 May 2021 | Written by RNZ | Published in Fiji, Regional

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Twelve new cases in Fiji, but no lockdown
Bad weather in Fiji is complicating the efforts of health authorities and police to contain community transmission of Covid-19 Photo: Facebook/Fiji govt

Fiji's government is still opting not to go to a full lockdown, as it recorded 12 new community cases of Covid-19, all in Suva.

They are all linked to a case confirmed by health officials on Monday when a woman from a densely-populated area near the capital was confirmed to have the coronavirus.

Confirmation of the 12 new cases represented the highest increase in cases announced yet at a daily update by health authorities.

Our correspondent in Fiji, Lice Movono, said the 12 cases were from two households.

"That tells us that people are still moving in and out of each other's homes, people are not maintaining any sort of bubble."

Movements of the 12 cases in the past few days included trips to supermarkets over 30 minutes drive away from their suburb.

"The people from that area were shopping within the city. The supermarkets that were closed today (were) one from their area, but two within the city, the central business district," Movono explained.

"So what the government is seeing is that there is still a lot of unnecessary travel way past neighbourhoods.

She said government this evening ruled out a full lockdown in the next day or two, saying it would give the public adequate advance notice if it decides on one.

Fiji now has 48 active cases, 35 of them locally transmitted, and seven in border quarantine, while the source of six cases is under investigation.

According to Movono, elements of panic are growing within the public. At least three supermarkets today were closed today in response to the Covid-19 cases.

"That caused a lot of panic for people who live in and within the city area because these are their main supermarkets to shop at," she said.

Meanwhile, Fiji's government has sought to reassure a nervous public on edge in anticipation of a lockdown.

"There's definitely no lockdown in the next day or two. The government is saying 'we are going to tell you well in advance; we will give you not a few hours but we will give you days' notice so that not just you but also the government machinery can prepare'."