“Answered Prayers”: Fiji Declares Itself Coronavirus Free: Fiji PM attributed the nation’s virus-free standing to “answered prayers, arduous work-.
“Answered Prayers”: Fiji Declares Itself Coronavirus Free
Suva, Fiji: Fiji introduced it was coronavirus free Friday after the island nation’s final identified contaminated affected person was given the all-clear, persevering with the Pacific’s outstanding report of success in opposition to the virus.
There was panic amongst Fiji’s 930,000 inhabitants when the primary COVID-19 case was reported in mid-March, however strict isolation measures and border controls stored a lid on infections, which peaked at 18 confirmed circumstances.
Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama attributed the nation’s virus-free standing to “answered prayers, arduous work, and affirmation of science”.
“Fiji has simply cleared the final of our energetic COVID-19 sufferers,” he tweeted.
“And even with our testing numbers climbing by the day, it is now been 45 days since we recorded our final case. With no deaths, our restoration fee is 100 p.c.”
The Pacific islands had been initially seen as among the many world’s most susceptible to the virus due to under-resourced well being infrastructure and excessive charges of well being circumstances reminiscent of diabetes and coronary heart illness.
There have been additionally fears geographic isolation might flip the islands into an infection incubators, like when a measles epidemic in Samoa late final 12 months killed 83 folks, most of them infants and toddlers.
Nonetheless, nations within the area acted swiftly and made the expensive choice to seal borders and shut down the tourism commerce that sustains their economies, to be able to shield their populations.
‘Lifted the drawbridge’
Because of this, many haven’t recorded a single case of the virus, together with Palau, Tonga, the Solomons Islands, Samoa, the Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, the Prepare dinner Islands and Micronesia.
“They went past the technique of elimination and aimed for exclusion — they lifted the drawbridge,” epidemiologist Michael Baker from Otago College instructed AFP.
“Within the case of Fiji, they did have circumstances however they’ve now achieved elimination, so in some methods you would say they’ve carried out higher than New Zealand.”
New Zealand seems on the cusp of eliminating the virus, with well being authorities reporting Friday there had been no new infections for 2 weeks and just one virus case remained energetic.
Fiji has already expressed curiosity in becoming a member of a quarantine-free journey “bubble” with Australia and New Zealand, two nations that provide the majority of the tropical idyll’s vacationers.
Regardless of Fiji’s success in opposition to COVID-19, officers apprehensive a couple of doable second wave of the illness and insisted social-distancing restrictions stay in place.
“To keep away from of any danger of a second wave, the wholesome habits we have picked up the previous months should proceed,” Bainimarama stated in a Fb video on Friday.
“Wash your fingers, put on face masks in the event you’re feeling unwell and preserve a protected bodily distance from others as a lot as doable,” he stated.
Well being Minister Ifereimi Waqainabete stated a night-time curfew bans on gatherings of greater than 20 folks would stay for now.
“We can’t drop our guard,” he stated.
The Cooks, which was one of many first nations on the planet to declare itself virus-free in mid-April, has introduced measures to cautiously reopen its borders.
Prime Minister Henry Puna stated residents and people with work permits who had been in New Zealand for 30 days would quickly be allowed to return dwelling with out going into quarantine.
The Prepare dinner Islands Information described the transfer as “step one in bringing again the vacationers”.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)