Fijian health officials are bracing for a "tsunami" of cases after the Indian variant has been confirmed in the country.
The permanent secretary for health and medical services, James Fong, said the situation in India showed the threat posed by the strain could not be underestimated.
"We cannot let that nightmare happen in Fiji," Fong said in a televised address.
"We still have time to stop it happening but a single misstep will bring about the same Covid tsunami that our friends in India, Brazil, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States are enduring."
A community outbreak in the country's capital and surrounding areas has sparked a two-week lockdown.
The cluster began when a soldier contracted the virus at a quarantine facility and transmitted it to his wife, who was then exposed to people at a funeral.
So far there are 24 locally transmitted cases in Fiji and 18 border quarantine cases.
Since March 2020, Fiji has recorded 109 Covid-19 cases and two deaths.
Efforts to restrict the spread of the B. 1.617 variant, which originated in India, haven't been enough to prevent its detection in at least 10 other countries, including Britain and the US.
In light of this recent outbreak, Fiji officials have now issued a "stop shaking hands" warning to locals.
"Stop shaking hands, touching and embracing," the Fijian Government wrote on its official Facebook page this morning.
"Our greatest hope is in the hands of every Fijian - please, for the fate of our country and those we love, do what we've directed you to do.
"Don't let this opportunity go to waste."
- Additional reporting, News.com.au