Fiji fears 'tsunami of virus' after outbreak found to be Indian variant
Unsplash/Shubhangee Vyas

Fiji's capital city Suva which was forced into lockdown amid the COVID-19 outbreak and avoided transmission for a year confirmed Indian variant on Tuesday. The health officials have said that they fear a 'tsunami' of covid cases.

As per an AFP report, Fiji had largely dodged community transmission before a cluster emerged this month centred on a quarantine facility in Nadi, the city that is home to Fiji's international airport.

James Fong,permanent secretary for health and medical services, said six new cases had emerged in quarantine facilities on Tuesday April 27) and events in India showed the threat posed by the strain could not be underestimated.

He said, "We still have time to stop it happening but a single misstep will bring about the same Covid tsunami that the people in India, Brazil, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States are enduring."

So far the Pacific Asian country through strict isolation measures and border controls, have recorded only 109 cases and just two deaths in a population of 930,000.

There are currently 42 active cases, 18 of them detected at the border and 24 locally transmitted.

The cluster began when a soldier contracted the virus at a quarantine facility and transmitted it to his wife, who then exposed up to 500 people at a funeral.

Fong said there was evidence that soldiers who had returned from overseas deployments had broken quarantine rules by mixing with each other when they should have been in isolation.

Apart from Suva, Nadi and Lautoka, Fiji's second-largest city are under lockdown. Besides, inter-island travel has been banned in the country, while national carrier Fiji Airways has suspended all international and domestic passenger flights.

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Free Press Journal