Permanent Secretary for Health Doctor James Fong says Fiji’s border quarantine facilities and protocols have been exhaustively reviewed to protect against transmission stemming from individuals entered into quarantine or isolation.
The quarantine capacity is to be capped at 300, and this will be reviewed as and when appropriate. Doctor Fong says hotel workers deemed as high-risk will include housekeeping staff, maintenance, and reception staff and will be accommodated within the quarantine facility.
He says CCTV coverage has been upgraded in selected quarantine facilities, for improved monitoring and surveillance.
Doctor Fong says all infection prevention protocols have been reviewed in all quarantine facilities and a refresher program has been carried out for all Hotel, Military and Health staff.
He says internal reviews of the standard cleaning and disinfection protocols and the food and amenities delivery and exchange protocols for quarantine facilities have been conducted.
The Permanent Secretary says new mitigation measures have been introduced to address the risk related to transmission of the virus within tightly contained spaces within quarantine facilities in the course of operations and frontline surveillance reporting, which includes mandatory reporting for staff on leave, has been strengthened.
He says routine surveillance swabbing of all quarantine facility workers, health officials, military, and transfer companies will step-up from a fortnightly basis to a weekly basis (once every 7 days), to ensure early identification and appropriate management of cases.
They have escalated immunization rates for quarantine facilities and personnel – 90% of hotel workers, 100% of transfer drivers and 100% of health workers and military personnel are fully vaccinated.
Doctor Fong says well-run quarantine facilities with adequate bed capacity are critical to the containment of COVID-19.
He is asking the public’s cooperation in establishing quarantine facilities.
Doctor Fong says we are all safer when suitable facilities are open and available to cater for Fijians who may have been exposed to COVID-19.
He says their mitigation strategy continues to rely on the women and men, doctors, nurses, contact tracers and members of our disciplined forces who serve on the frontlines.
Doctor Fong says while they are provided with the proper personal protective equipment, they face a risk to their health and wellbeing every day of their service to the nation.
He is also making a strong appeal to our health officials to remain resolute in their purpose, their professionalism, and patience in their service to the public.
Doctor Fong says their two-month battle against this outbreak has demanded great sacrifices from all of them, but it has also saved countless lives.
He says in the line of duty, you may encounter moments of frustration.
Doctor Fong urges you to meet those moments with compassion.
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