Two sailors test positive for COVID-19; in isolation at Navua hospital

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Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong. Picture: LUKE NACEI

Two sailors on board the freighter, MV Island Chief, that is currently berthed at the Suva Harbour have gone into quarantine after they were tested positive for COVID-19.

Also under quarantine are another 21 Fijian officials who got contact with the patients.

Fiji’s Ministry of Health and Medical Services permanent secretary Dr James Fong confirmed this during a press conference in Suva this afternoon.

He said they had not been classified as COVID-19 border cases yet, as officials were awaiting information on whether the individuals were tested positive in another country in the past.

On December 2, he said the vessel arrived at Lautoka Port to deliver cargo and then proceeded to Suva Port.

“The vessel’s last port of call was Nuku’alofa, Tonga,” Dr Fong said.

“The information we have at the moment, none of the crew left the vessel in Tonga, the MV Island Chief had arrived in Nuku’alofa from New Zealand.

“During that time in New Zealand, the vessel underwent crew change, where individuals were flown in from other countries. Our current information that all crew underwent the 14 days quarantine before the vessel departed.

“The two crew members who were tested positive have been hygienically transferred to Navua Hospital and will be staying at the isolation ward.”

He said the remaining crew members were under quarantine inside the vessel under heavy police guard.

“No crew member onboard the MV Island Chief  disembarked the vessel.”