By Lice Movono of RNZ
There are 18 new cases of Covid-19 recorded in central Fiji, the biggest increase since the pandemic began in March 2020.
Ten of the new cases are from two related families in Waila, just outside of Nausori town.
Four cases are from a household in Tacirua outside the capital Suva and two cases from a household in Muanikoso, on the outskirts of Nasinu Town.
Health Permanent Secretary Dr James Fong said early investigations have not yet linked the new cases with previous cases.
But the remaining two cases have been linked to five cases in Samabula. One is an Extra Supermarket worker who tested positive on their final swab while in quarantine.
Meanwhile, screening zones now exist in Muanikoso, Samabula, Waila and Tacirua, where intensive testing is being conducted.
"These latest cases involve a number of people who visited well-known shops, grocery stores and other commercial facilities in the area, which will make contact tracing and data we can gain from the careFIJI app very important," Fong said.
Fiji's Ministry of Health has asked journalists to reiterate the proper use of its contact tracing app.
"Please be sure to have the app installed and running on your phone, with Bluetooth turned on."
Fong said the recent cases did not observe Covid-19 protocols, moving in the community and attending social events.
"Therefore, we repeat the advice that we have given repeatedly - and that health authorities worldwide have given repeatedly for more than the past year - to wear masks, wash hands frequently, observe physical distancing always, and avoid crowds.
"And please do not attend social events, and do not invite people in from outside your household."
Fong reiterated the need for people who are back at work to maintain workplace bubbles.
"Don't let your guard down, set an example in your community, and encourage family, neighbours and people you meet to observe these common-sense practices.
"This is very serious."
Health authorities say people who live in containment zones and go outside must wear a mask or face covering.
There are 86 active cases in Fiji, with 224 cases recorded in total since its first case in March 2020.
"All active cases are stable. Transmission is concentrated in the Central Division at this time, in the Suva-Nausori Containment Area, and that is where we are focusing our attention, personnel and resources."
Vaccinations begin on Monday throughout the Central Division for people over 18 years old who have not received their first dose.
This will be done at well-known locations and through mobile vaccination.
Information on vaccination sites will be published every day on the Fijian Government Facebook page.
Lautoka containment zone
Staff and patients at the Lautoka subdivisional hospital - which is now 18 days into isolation - are going through their fourth round of testing.
They also plan to complete the second dose of vaccination for all staff sequestered in the hospital by next week.