19th February 10:32 PM
Coronavirus outbreak
By Fijivillage
Thursday 13/02/2020

Apartment infections raise fear of coronavirus transmission via bathroom pipes (Thursday 13/02/2020)

By Semi Turaga

Health officials in Hong Kong have partially evacuated residents from an apartment block over fears the coronavirus may have been transmitted via the building's pipes.

Two residents living on different floors of a high-rise tower called Hong Mei House had been infected with coronavirus.

A 62-year-old woman was diagnosed with the virus about a week-and-a-half after a 75-year-old man in the same building became infected.

CNN reports three more cases have since been linked to Hong Mei House.

The woman's son, his wife and her father have been diagnosed with the virus.

The mother, son and wife share an apartment.

Health authorities evacuated residents living in apartments numbered seven on all 30 floors of the building because their toilet discharge pipes were linked.

The possibility of the virus being transmitted through pipes immediately drew comparisons to the 2003 SARS outbreak, when this method became a major source of transmission.

Hong Kong 7s and Singapore 7s to be held in October due to coronavirus (Thursday 13/02/2020)
By Vijay Narayan and Semi Turaga

The Hong Kong and Singapore 7s tournaments are set to be postponed due to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak.

Fijivillage has received information that the Hong Kong Kong 7s which was supposed to be held from April 3rd to 6th is now likely to be held from October 10th this year while the Singapore 7s which was supposed to be held on the 11th and 12th of April is likely to be held from the 17th of October this year.

The Fiji Rugby Union is awaiting the final confirmation on this as discussions were underway to have the two tournaments postponed.

The South China Morning Post is reporting the prestigious Hong Kong Sevens tournament, which hosts 40,000 people each day, has been shelved for six months due to on-going health fears in the city.

FJ-fans-at-2019-hong-kong-7s-sm
Fiji fans cheer on the Fiji Men's 7s team at the 2019 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens. [Photo: SCMP]

The Hong Kong 7s has run every year since 1976 and was due to host its 45th event.

The South China Morning Post reports the event would likely be postponed until October.

An official announcement from World Rugby is expected later today.

Latest reports show China has 44,653 coronavirus cases and 1,113 confirmed deaths.

Hong Kong has 50 cases and one death; Singapore 50 cases.

[Source: South China Morning Post]

160 million to return to work next week as China seeks to minimise economic impact(Thursday 13/02/2020)
By Semi Turaga

China is expecting around 160 million employees to return to their workplaces next week, as the country seeks to minimize the economic impact of the novel coronavirus.

Next Wednesday marks the official end of the Lunar New Year period, an auspicious occasion on the Chinese calendar, that this year has been marred by the viral illness that has claimed more than 1,110 lives in mainland China.

The huge mobilization of people comes despite prior warnings for citizens to avoid large crowds.

[Source: CNN]

 

No confirmed Novel Coronavirus cases in Fiji - Health Ministry (Wednesday 12/02/2020)
By Semi Turaga

The Health Ministry is stressing that there are no confirmed cases of the Novel Coronavirus in Fiji dismissing rumors which continue to emerge about the virus.

All persons that have been in isolation have tested negative.

The World Health Organization has now confirmed that the official name for the disease caused by the new coronavirus is Covid-19.

It comes after the death toll from the virus passed 1,000.

Tens of thousands of people have been infected.

The word coronavirus refers to the group of viruses it belongs to, rather than the latest strain.

Researchers have been calling for an official name to avoid confusion and stigmatisation of any group or country.

The new name is taken from the words "corona", "virus" and "disease", with 2019 representing the year that it emerged (the outbreak was reported to the WHO on 31 December).

There are now more than 42,200 confirmed cases across China.

 

Coronavirus disease named Covid-19 (Wednesday 12/02/2020)
By Semi Turaga

The World Health Organization says the official name for the disease caused by the new coronavirus is Covid-19.

It comes after the death toll from the virus passed 1,000.

Tens of thousands of people have been infected.

The word coronavirus refers to the group of viruses it belongs to, rather than the latest strain.

Researchers have been calling for an official name to avoid confusion and stigmatisation of any group or country.

The new name is taken from the words "corona", "virus" and "disease", with 2019 representing the year that it emerged (the outbreak was reported to the WHO on 31 December).

There are now more than 42,200 confirmed cases across China.

[Source:BBC]

 

6000 screened for coronavirus in PNG over three weeks(Wednesday 12/02/2020)
By Semi Turaga

At least 6000 people have been screened for the coronavirus in Papua New Guinea over the past three weeks.

The country's Acting Health Secretary, Paison Dakulala, said the number did not include travellers from China.

Dr Dakulala told the Post Courier that 110 people were of interest because of their travel history, and that three people have had samples sent to a lab for testing.

He said funding and follow-up investigations would be required in those cases, with testing to be done at the PNG Institute of Medical Research.

Meanwhile, six Taiwanese nationals who were travelling to Vanuatu to attend a regional fisheries meeting have been sent to Australia by the country's Coronavirus Task Force.

The Vanuatu Daily Post reports the passengers had not shown evidence of being infected by the virus but the task force has made it clear it is banning all visitors from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau until further notice.

The decision is in line with caretaker Prime Minister Charlot Salwai's call from earlier this week that the task force take immediate action to safeguard the country from the coronavirus.

 

Deaths hit new high in China’s virus epicentre (Tuesday 11/02/2020)
By Naveel Krishant

The number of people killed by the Novel Coronavirus has risen to a daily high of 103 in Hubei province, taking the overall number of deaths since the breakout to more than 1,000.

But the number of new infections was down 20% from the day before.

Hubei's health commission confirmed 2,097 new cases in the province on Monday, down from 2,618.

An advanced team of medical experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) has arrived in China.

There are now more than 42,200 confirmed cases across China, the gravest public health crisis the country has faced since the Sars outbreak in 2002-3.

No confirmed cases of coronavirus in Fiji - Health Ministry (Tuesday 11/02/2020)
By Semi Turaga

No one in Fiji is under investigation for the Novel Coronavirus as no one is in isolation and there are no confirmed cases.

This has been confirmed by the Health Ministry in its latest update.

The total number of deaths in China is now 908 - but the number of newly-infected people per day has stabilised.

Across China, 40,171 people are infected while 187,518 are under medical observation.

Meanwhile, 60 more people have tested positive on a cruise ship quarantined in Japan - meaning 130 out of 3,700 passengers have caught the virus.

The Diamond Princess ship is on a two-week quarantine off Yokohama, after a passenger - who earlier disembarked in Hong Kong - tested positive.

The infected passengers are taken off-board and treated in nearby hospitals.

Thousands on cruise ship allowed to disembark after tests for coronavirus (Monday 10/02/2020)
By Semi Turaga

Thousands of people stuck on a cruise ship in Hong Kong for four days have been allowed to disembark after tests for coronavirus came back negative.

Some 3,600 passengers and crew on the World Dream ship were quarantined amid fears some staff could have contracted the virus on a previous voyage.

Another cruise ship where dozens of cases have been confirmed remains in quarantine off Japan.

The outbreak has killed 813 people, all but two in mainland China.

Health Ministry continues to be on high alert and is preparing for possible importation of coronavirus cases (Sunday 09/02/2020)
By Semi Turaga

The Health Ministry says it continues to be on high alert and is preparing for possible importation of cases of the Novel Coronavirus with more cases detected in countries around the world, including in neighbouring countries such as Australia.

There have been 15 confirmed cases of the Novel Coronavirus in Australia.

More than 34,800 people have been infected with the new coronavirus worldwide, the vast majority in China.

There have been 723 deaths in China and one death abroad, in the Philippines.

Of the 34,598 people infected within China, almost 25,000 are in Hubei Province - the region where the outbreak was first reported, which has since become the epicentre of the virus.

There are no confirmed cases of the Novel Coronavirus in Fiji.

Three people in Fiji with a travel history to China were recently in isolation but they have since been released after they tested negative for the virus.

The Health Ministry says it is expected that with time the Ministry will investigate more persons with relevant travel history and symptoms related to Novel Coronavirus.

How can you prevent yourself from getting Novel Coronavirus and other diseases?

- Frequently clean hands soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub

- When coughing or sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands

- Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough

- Avoid travel to mainland China

If you have been to mainland China in the last 14 days and develop symptoms (fever, cough or difficulty breathing), immediately contact one of the numbers listed below.

If you need to see a doctor please call ahead, using the following phone numbers, before visiting to reduce the risk of infecting other patients.

- Central 2219905

- Eastern 2219906

- Western 2219907

- Northern 2219908

WHO warns that 'trolls and conspiracy theories' are undermining their response to new coronavirus (Sunday 09/02/2020)
By Semi Turaga

The World Health Organisation has warned that "trolls and conspiracy theories" are undermining their response to the new coronavirus.

More than 34,800 people have been infected with the new coronavirus worldwide, the vast majority in China.

There have been 723 deaths in China and one death abroad, in the Philippines.

Li-Wenliang-memorial-sm
The death of Dr Li Wenliang, who tried to warn about the virus in December, has caused widespread anger and grief across China

Of the 34,598 people infected within China, almost 25,000 are in Hubei Province - the region where the outbreak was first reported, which has since become the epicentre of the virus.

Foreign national isolated in Nadi tests negative for coronavirusSunday (09/02/2020)
By Semi Turaga

There are no confirmed cases and no one is in isolation in Fiji for the Coronavirus.

The Health Ministry has confirmed that the foreign national isolated at Nadi Hospital since Thursday evening has tested negative for the Coronavirus and has been cleared for release.

The man had come in from Mainland China 11 days ago and contacted the Health Ministry after seeing the contact number in the health declaration information card.

The man had said that he had a fever.

With more cases detected in countries around the world, including in neighbouring countries such as Australia, the Ministry of Health says it continues to be on high alert and is preparing for possible importation of cases.

Figure 1. Countries, territories or areas with reported confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV, 8 February 2020

areas-of-cases

Table 1. Confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 8 February 2020

confirmed-cases

Table 2. Countries, territories or areas with reported confirmed 2019-nCoV cases and deaths. Data as of 8 February 2020

confirmed-cases-8022020

Foreign national currently in isolation is in good condition(Saturday 08/02/2020)
By Semi Turaga

The foreign national currently in isolation in Nadi after contacting the Health Ministry that he has a fever is in good condition.

There are no confirmed Novel Coronavirus cases in Fiji.

The man had come in from Mainland China nine days ago and contacted the Health Ministry after seeing the contact number in the health declaration information card.

The Health Minister Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete confirms the man was not in Wuhan or Hubei.

The test result which has been sent to Australia is expected back within the next few days.

 

Hong Kong begins mandatory 2 week quarantine for anyone arriving from China(Saturday 08/02/2020)
By Semi Turaga

Hong Kong has begun a mandatory two-week quarantine for anyone arriving from mainland China, in a fresh effort to contain the new coronavirus.

Visitors must isolate themselves in hotel rooms or go to government-run centres while returning Hong Kong residents must stay inside their homes.

Anyone caught breaking the new rules faces a fine and a prison sentence.

Tens of thousands of travellers queued at the Chinese border city of Shenzhen ahead of the midnight deadline.

Hong Kong has seen 26 confirmed cases of the virus and one person has died.

The number of confirmed cases in mainland China stands at 31,203, with 636 deaths.

Outside China, 270 cases have been confirmed in at least 25 countries, with one other fatality - in the Philippines.

[Source:BBC]

No confirmed Novel Coronavirus cases in Fiji(Saturday 08/02/2020)
By Vijay Narayan

Good news as there are no confirmed Novel Coronavirus cases in Fiji.

Health Minister, Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete has confirmed that the test results of the two Fijian citizens who were placed in isolation at the Nadi Hospital after their arrival into Fiji from Guangdong in China, has come back negative.

However, Doctor Waqainabete says a foreign national is currently in isolation in Nadi after contacting the Health Ministry that he has a fever.

The foreign national had come in from Mainland China nine days ago and contacted the Health Ministry after seeing the contact number in the health declaration information card.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

With the PS for Health and our Chief Medical Advisor; we had a teleconference with WHO and other PICs. We have to ensure we are practicing Best Practice guidelines

A post shared by Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete (@dr_waqainabete) on

The Health Minister confirms the man was not in Wuhan or Hubei.

The person’s test result is expected back within the next few days.

Figure 1. Countries, territories or areas with reported confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV, 7 February 2020

822020-cov-cases-sm

Table 1. Confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 7 February 2020

confirmed-cases

Table 2. Countries, territories or areas with reported confirmed 2019-nCoV cases and deaths. Data as of 7 February 2020

confirmed-cases-8022020

Coronavirus global outbreak causes further delay on construction of WG Friendship Plaza in Suva(Friday 07/02/2020)
By Semi Turaga

WG-Plaza-SM

The Coronavirus global outbreak has caused a further delay on the construction of WG Friendship Plaza along McGregor Road in Suva.

The majority of the Chinese workers are still in China due to the virus outbreak which started in Wuhan.

About 80% of the workers are from China.

Countries, territories or areas with reported confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV, 6 February 2020

nCoV-map

Confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 6 February 2020

n-Co-V-region

 

n-Cov-countries

They have completed work on the removal of the retaining wall and balcony from the Holy Trinity School land.

There had been an issue of encroachment and the school and WG Plaza had gone through mediation and it was agreed to that WG Plaza had to move their retaining wall and balcony from the Holy Trinity land.

WG Limited will then be required to submit their engineering plans to the Ministry for Local Government for the Stop Work Order to be lifted.

A spokesperson for the company has confirmed that part of the balcony which went over the boundary is yet to be removed because most of the workers are not in the country.

Chinese doctor who tried to issue 1st warning about deadly coronavirus outbreak dies(Friday 07/02/2020)
By Priteshni Nand

Li-Wenliang-sm

A Chinese doctor who tried to issue the first warning about the deadly coronavirus outbreak has died.

Li Wenliang contracted the virus while working at Wuhan Central Hospital.

He had sent out a warning to fellow medics on 30th December but police told him to stop making false comments.

There had been contradictory reports about his death, but the People's Daily now says he died on Friday.

Coronavirus has killed more than 560 people and infected 28,000 in China.

[Source:BBC]

Chinese baby becomes youngest person diagnosed with coronavirus(Friday 07/02/2020)
By Priteshni Nand

Baby-SM

A Chinese baby is the youngest person recorded to be infected by the Coronavirus.

The baby was diagnosed with coronavirus just 30 hours after a woman who had tested positive for the deadly disease gave birth in the city of Wuhan.

BBC News reports doctors at the Wuhan Children’s Hospital have cited the case as evidence that pregnant women infected with the virus may be able to pass it to their unborn children.

There are 24,324 confirmed cases of coronavirus and almost 500 people have died from the virus.

The doctors say the newborn, whose vital signs were stable, has no fever or cough, but was experiencing shortness of breath however Chest X-rays showed signs of infection along with some abnormalities in liver functions.

The hospital also disclosed details of another case involving a baby who was born healthy on the 13th of last month.

The doctor confirms that the baby was in close contact with patients infected with the new coronavirus, which says newborns can also be infected.

China’s National Health Commission says on Tuesday, the oldest person diagnosed with the virus is a 90-year-old, and that 80 percent of reported deaths have been of people age 60 and older.

[Source:BBC News]

Chinese Embassy says no reason to close Fijian borders while Fiji stresses it is mitigating the risk of an outbreak (Thursday 06/02/2020)
By Vijay Narayan

The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Suva has said in a statement there was no reason for the Fijian government to close its borders to travellers who have been in China however Fiji says it has decided on this measure of extreme precaution to mitigate the risk of an outbreak in our country.

As part of the preventative measures in place to contain the Novel Coronavirus, Fiji has banned foreign nationals, who have been in Mainland China within 14 days of their intended travel to Fiji.

A Chinese Embassy spokesperson says they hope that the Fijian Government should minimize the negative impact on the movement of people as much as possible.

They stress that the Chinese Government and people are making every effort to fight the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The spokesperson says they have taken the most comprehensive and rigorous containment and mitigation measures, and many of them go well beyond the requirements of the International Health Regulations.

The Chinese Embassy says by doing so, China is not only protecting the health of its people, but also that of people around the world, including Fiji.

The spokesperson says such efforts are fully recognized by many governments as well as the WHO.

The embassy says the WHO has also stated that it continues to have confidence in China’s capacity to control the outbreak. It says there is no reason for measures that necessarily interfere with international travel and trade. The embassy further says that the WHO does not recommend limiting trade and movement.

Meanwhile, the Fijian Immigration Department says that no passenger arrivals or transits will be permitted for those falling under the controls, until further notice.

There are no confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in Fiji at the moment.

The government says it is working closely with all international carriers to ensure that any travellers who fall under these restrictions are not permitted to board flights to Fiji.

They also say that measures to maintain a hygienic environment and screening ill passengers will continue to be taken in-flight to further minimize any risk.

The Immigration Department says that Fiji is closely monitoring the spread of the Coronavirus and is prepared to pursue more stringent courses of action if necessary.

CNN reports that coronavirus has killed more than 560 people worldwide, the majority of which are in China, and infected more than 28,000 people in over 25 countries.

 

Two Fijians in Isolation Showing No Symptoms

Health Minister, Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete says the two Fijian citizens who have been placed in isolation at the Nadi Hospital after their arrival into Fiji from Guangdong in China, are recovering well and showing no symptoms of Novel Coronavirus now.

Doctor Waqainabete confirms that the test results for the two will be received tomorrow evening.

He says they are isolating people to make sure there is no threat.

 

Nike, Adidas and Capri Holdings warn investors that sales could take a hit (Thursday 06/02/2020)
By Violet Matakibau

Faced with shuttered stores and empty streets, big brands are getting nervous about the impact of the coronavirus on their bottom line.

Nike, Adidas, and Capri Holdings, which owns Versace, Jimmy Choo and Michael Kors, are among the companies this week that have warned investors that sales could take a hit.

John Idol, the CEO of Capri Holdings says the situation in China and the measures being taken to protect the population are having a material impact on their business.

According to the company, Roughly 150 of Capri's stores in mainland China are closed in an effort to contain the virus.

Nike, which saw nearly 18% of its sales coming from China in the most recent quarter, says it has shuttered about half of the stores it owns in China. Adidas says the company and its franchises had shut a significant number of shops.

Apple says all 42 of its stores in China will shut until the 9th of February out of an abundance of caution.

Starbucks says it has closed more than half of its roughly 4,300 Chinese locations last week.

[Source:CNN]

 

Confirmed coronavirus cases increase to 25 in Singapore (Thursday 06/02/2020)
By Violet Matakibau

Singapore-numbers-SM

Singapore announced a new confirmed case of the coronavirus today, bringing its total to 25.

South Korea also confirmed four more cases today, bringing the national total to 23.

Among those four, two are family members of previously confirmed patients, and one was in close contact with a confirmed patient. The last person is a 58-year-old Chinese woman who came to South Korea for a tour on January 23.

Malaysia confirmed 12 cases yesterday, according to a report by state news agency Bernama.

The spike in cases in South Korea and Singapore, along with other Asian hubs like Hong Kong, have sparked fears of new, self-sustaining outbreak clusters.

It has led to additional screening and emergency measures, including a South Korean ban on the hoarding of surgical masks and hand sanitizers aimed to prevent manufacturers profiteering from the outbreak.

[Source: CNN]

 

Novel Coronavirus expected to impact economic activity of countries, Pacific island economies will be relatively insulated - ANZ (Thursday 06/02/2020)
By Vijay Narayan

ANZ-and-masks-sm

The ANZ Bank’s latest Pacific Insight states that while the Novel Coronavirus is expected to impact the economic activity of many countries, the Pacific island economies will be relatively insulated.

The international economists in the report state that the number of Chinese tourists to the Pacific are growing but still small, accounting for less than 5% of all visitors in 2019.

Fiji received most of the visitors from China totaling 47,000, followed by Vanuatu who have 4,000 tourists from China and Samoa has about 2,000 Chinese tourists.

The economists, Kishti Sen and Tom Kenny say if the outbreak is contained soon, they think around 15,000 Chinese visitors will be unable to make it to the Pacific in the short term.

However, they say this may be offset by higher arrivals from Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

Sen and Kenny say that economic conditions in these countries, in particular, income growth, are still broadly supportive of international travel.

They say that the unemployment rate in Australian (the Pacific’s largest market) is near all-time lows. While this is not yet translating into a material move higher in wages, continued jobs growth and lower interest rates and taxes are supportive of household disposable income growth.

The economists say while Australian households are cautious, at present, they are still going on holidays and may divert travel plans from Asia to alternative markets over the near-term because of the coronavirus.

They believe that Australia’s bushfires may also lead to some Australians choosing to travel to the Pacific rather than their usual domestic venues.

The Pacific has a well-established brand as a family-friendly and safe holiday destination, so they expect it to pick up some of the up-tick in Australians holidaying overseas.

Governments across the Pacific have implemented measures including travel bans to halt the local spread of the coronavirus.

At present, there are no cases in Fiji, and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services has rolled out enhanced health screenings and treatment guidelines to detect and manage ill passengers travelling to Fiji, in an effort to contain any confirmed cases.

With the diligent monitoring and preparedness all governments are practicing, the economists believe the number of inbound visitors to the Pacific is likely to hold up, this year, especially as the outbreak has occurred during the Pacific’s off-peak tourism season.

This means foreign reserves, GDP, employment and government revenue in tourism-dependent economies, such as Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa and the Cook Islands, are likely to remain intact.

 

2 Fijian students arrive at Auckland in chartered Air NZ flight from coronavirus hit Wuhan in China(Thursday 06/02/2020)
By Semi Turaga

Air-NZ-at-auckland-airport-sm

Two Fijian students were part of the 193 people that arrived in a chartered Air New Zealand flight last night at Auckland Airport from coronavirus-hit Wuhan in China.

The passenger list included 70 New Zealanders, 35 Australian citizens and 12 Australian permanent residents on Chinese passports, eight people are British, 17 from both Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea, five are from Samoa, four from Tonga, two from Fiji and one from each of Kiribati, the Federated States of Micronesia, Holland and Uzbekistan.

residents-welcome-evacuees-from-wuhan-in-auckland-sm
Locals welcome evacuees from Wuhan to the Tamaki Leadership Centre on Whangaparaoa. Photo: Chris Tarpey

All people that were on the flight except for Australian citizens have been placed in quarantine for 14 days in an isolated defence force training base in Whangaparāoa in North Auckland.

Bus-with-evacuees-from-wuhan-flight-at-auckland-airport-sm1
A bus leaves Auckland Airport with evacuees from Wuhan. Photo: Dean Purcell

New Zealand’s Ministry of Health says at the site, people will receive daily medical checks, be able to work remotely, and education needs for children will be provided.

Catering would be maintained by commercial contractors.

It says once home, after the quarantine period, returnees will have to isolate themselves for a further two weeks.

Welcome-home-nz-sm
Locals welcome evacuees from Wuhan to the Tamaki Leadership Centre on Whangaparaoa after their flight back from Wuhan. Photo: Chris Tarpey

The New Zealand Herald reports the Australian passengers were transferred directly to a flight to Australia last night.

Bus-with-evacuees-from-wuhan-flight-at-auckland-airport-sm
Buses leave Auckland Airport with evacuees from Wuhan. Photo:Dean Purcell

Common coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Experts are unsure of whether the virus is able to transmit before symptoms appear or after. If it worsens it can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure or even death.

The virus can be spread from animals to people. But it also can be spread by coughing, sneezing and through close contact with an infected person or an object carrying the virus. Experts are still figuring out how long an infected person is contagious as they try to determine a point of transmission.

 

Hong Kong to impose mandatory 14-day quarantine on all visitors from mainland China(Thursday 06/02/2020)
By Semi Turaga

hk-sm

Hong Kong is to impose a mandatory 14-day quarantine on all visitors from mainland China as it battles to prevent the spread of a coronavirus outbreak.

The policy comes into effect on Sunday but officials refused to close the border entirely, as demanded by medical staff who have gone on strike.

Hong Kong, which has 21 confirmed cases and one fatality, suffered 300 deaths in the Sars outbreak in 2002-03.

There are 24,300 confirmed coronavirus cases and 490 deaths in mainland China.

Those figures included an additional 4,000 cases and 65 deaths on Tuesday.

BBC News reports the virus has spread overseas, with 25 nations confirming a total of 191 cases, although there have so far been only two deaths outside China.

At least 10 people on board a cruise ship docked in the Japanese port of Yokohama have tested positive for the virus.

 

Waqainabete dismisses rumors that more people are in isolation in Fiji for coronavirus(Wednesday 05/02/2020)
By Vijay Narayan and Semi Turaga

dr-waqainabete-and-Coronavirus-sm

Health Minister Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete has dismissed rumors that more people are now under isolation in Fiji for the coronavirus.

Waqainabete stresses that only two Fijian citizens have been placed under isolation at the Nadi Hospital after their arrival into Fiji from Guangdong in China.

He says they are not from Wuhan.

He says this is a precautionary measure adding they are isolating people to make sure there is no threat.

The two currently have mild symptoms.

Response teams by the Health Ministry are also managing close contacts of the patients.

Lab samples of the two patients have been sent to the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre reference laboratory in Melbourne in Australia.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Currently there is No Confirmed Cases of Coronavirus in Fiji. Summary of media advisory: 2 FIji Nationals came from Guangdong in China with mild symptoms. Isolated as precautionary. Awaiting test results.

A post shared by Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete (@dr_waqainabete) on

They are expected to be available in a week.

The Health Ministry says as the symptoms are very similar to many other respiratory illnesses including colds and influenza it is expected that with time the Ministry will investigate more persons with relevant travel history and symptoms related to Coronavirus.

The global outbreak has infected over 20,000 people and killed more than 400, most of them in China.

Common coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Experts are unsure of whether the virus is able to transmit before symptoms appear or after.

If it worsens it can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure or even death.

The virus can be spread from animals to people. But it also can be spread by coughing, sneezing and through close contact with an infected person or an object carrying the virus.

Experts are still figuring out how long an infected person is contagious as they try to determine a point of transmission.

10 coronavirus cases confirmed from cruise ship quarantined in Japan(Wednesday 05/02/2020)
By Dhanjay Deo

Diamond-Princess-Cruise-ship-sm

Ten people on a cruise ship anchored off Japan have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The Diamond Princess is anchored off Yokohama, and all 3700 passengers and crew have been quarantined.

Japanese health officials have tested dozens of people, and of 31 people whose test results have come through, 10 were confirmed as infected. All the infected have been hospitalised.

As of Tuesday, the outbreak has infected over 20,000 people and killed more than 400, most of them in China.

Common Wuhan coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Experts are unsure of whether the virus is able to transmit before symptoms appear or after.

If it worsens it can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure or even death.

The virus can be spread from animals to people.

But it also can be spread by coughing, sneezing and through close contact with an infected person or an object carrying the virus.

Experts are still figuring out how long an infected person is contagious as they try to determine a point of transmission.

Lab results expected within a week for 2 Fiji citizens under isolation for suspected coronavirus(Wednesday 05/02/2020)
By Semi Turaga

Travel-SM

The Health Ministry says lab test results for the two Fijian citizens under isolation and being investigated for the Novel Coronavirus could be available within a week.

Health Minister Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete says their experts are working with the Permanent Secretary on this situation.

Lab samples are being sent to the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre reference laboratory in Melbourne in Australia.

The two currently have mild symptoms and are under isolation at the Nadi Hospital after their arrival into Fiji from Guangdong in China on Monday.

Response teams by the Health Ministry are also managing close contacts of the patients.

It says they will provide an update to the public on the two persons under investigation once lab results are available.

The Health Ministry further says as the symptoms are very similar to many other respiratory illnesses including colds and influenza it is expected that with time the Ministry will investigate more persons with a relevant travel history and symptoms related to Coronavirus.

It adds that this should not alarm the public, as this is an indication of the level of alert they are maintaining for this globally spreading disease.

More than 20,000 cases and 425 deaths had been reported in China - an increase of more than 3,000 confirmed cases in a single day.

2 Fijians under isolation at the Nadi Hospital after showing mild symptoms for Novel Coronavirus after returning from China (Tuesday 04/02/2020)
By Semi Turaga

coronavirus-cell-sm

The Health Ministry is currently investigating two Fijian citizens for Novel Coronavirus after their arrival into Fiji from Guangdong in China yesterday.

It has confirmed in a statement that the two people both currently have mild symptoms and are under isolation at the Nadi Hospital.

The Health Ministry says lab samples are being sent to the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre reference laboratory in Melbourne in Australia.

The Ministry’s response teams are also managing close contacts of the patients.

It says they will provide an update to the public on the two persons under investigation once lab results are available.

The Health Ministry further says as the symptoms are very similar to many other respiratory illnesses including colds and influenza it is expected that with time the Ministry will investigate more persons with relevant travel history and symptoms related to Coronavirus.

It adds that this should not alarm the public, as this is an indication of the level of alert they are maintaining for this globally spreading disease.

BBC News reports more than 20,000 cases and 425 deaths had been reported in China - an increase of more than 3,000 confirmed cases in a single day.

Fiji Human Rights Commission urges people to refrain from making racially-driven jokes against the Asian community

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The Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission is urging everyone to refrain from making racially-driven jokes, stereotyping and passing prejudicial remarks against the Asian community in light of the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus.

Director, Ashwin Raj says social media is saturated with jokes and comments that are disparaging and denigrating towards the Chinese community in particular.

Raj says there should be no room for racial profiling based on peoples’ ethnicity, nationality, physical appearance, the type of food they consume or their lifestyle.

The Commission Director says fear and anxiety should not be used to fuel racism.

The Commission urges all members of the public to denounce such acts, refrain from spreading false information and adhere to the advice from the Ministry of Health.

By: Vijay Narayan

Coronavirus: Australia eyes second flight from Wuhan as evacuees arrive on Christmas Island

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A total of 241 Australians have reached the Australian territory of Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean after being evacuated by plane from Wuhan in China.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison say most will be placed under quarantine on Christmas Island for two weeks.

One pregnant woman and her partner have been sent to Perth for isolation.

A second patient with coronavirus has died outside of mainland China in Hong Kong.

It is reported that a 39-year-old man died today.

He is said to have travelled to Wuhan on January 21 and had an underlying illness.

The Philippines is the only other location outside mainland China to report a death from the virus.

That victim had also travelled to Wuhan before arriving in the Philippines.

[Source: CNN]

By: Violet Matakibau

Second death outside of mainland China from coronavirus recorded in Hong Kong (Tuesday 04/02/2020)
By Violet Matakibau

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A second patient with the Wuhan coronavirus has died outside of mainland China, in the semi-autonomous Chinese city of Hong Kong, according to Hong Kong public broadcaster RTHK.

RTHK reported that a 39-year-old man died today.

He is said to have travelled to Wuhan on January 21 and had an underlying illness.

The Philippines is the only other location outside mainland China to report a death from the virus.

That victim had also travelled to Wuhan before arriving in the Philippines.

[Source: CNN]

Coronavirus outbreak: China admits 'shortcomings and deficiencies' (Tuesday 04/02/2020)
By Semi Turaga

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China's top leadership has admitted "shortcomings and deficiencies" in the country's response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

A crackdown on wildlife markets, where the virus emerged, has been ordered.

BBC News reports more than 20,000 cases and 425 deaths had been reported in China - an increase of more than 3,000 confirmed cases in a single day.

coronavirus-cases-stats-smADVERTISEMENT Pacific Specialist Healthcare

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