Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimara announced the extension of the country's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions on Friday, May 15, four weeks after the last case of the disease was confirmed in the country. The indefinite extension means that the nationwide 22:00 to 05:00 (local time) curfew remains in effect, while public gatherings are limited to 20 people. Entertainment venues and sports facilities also remain closed and school classes suspended until June 12. However, Bainimara stated that the government is finalizing plans for a gradual easing of the restrictions to be announced in the coming days.
Fiji has not confirmed a new case of COVID-19 since April 18 and, as of Saturday, May 16, has gone two full 14-day incubation periods for the disease with no new infections. However, the authorities have warned against complacency and have continued to increase COVID-19 testing.
As of May 15, Fiji Airways has begun to increase its domestic flight operations, which resumed on April 27 following the easing of restrictions on interisland travel. However, international flights remain suspended until June 30 and are likely to be operated at reduced capacity when resumed.
As of May 16, Fiji has confirmed 18 cases of COVID-19 and no associated deaths.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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