A nationwide lockdown is imminent in Fiji as authorities scramble to screen and test people living in Covid-19 hot-spots.
The capital Suva and surrounding towns Nausori and Nasinu are in lockdown until 4am tomorrow.
No one is allowed to leave their homes unless it is a medical emergency. Authorities have warned police are out to enforce the new restrictions.
Officials aim to screen and test as many people as possible along the Suva-Nausori corridor, where the virus is believed to be spreading fast.
Movement on the rest of the main island, Viti Levu, with a population of 600,000 people, has been restricted for another week as an 11pm-4am curfew has been in place since April 26.
This includes containment areas of Lautoka, Nadi and Ra, where the first Covid-19 cases of community transmission were found since March last year.
Last night, Fiji's Health Ministry announced two more cases of Covid-19 and three recoveries.
This is after 25,064 Fijians were screened and 1026 tests conducted on Friday, the ministry said.
Health Secretary Dr James Fong told a media conference the latest patients, aged 5 and 15, are the children of a woman from Cunningham who had contracted the virus last week.
He said both cases were confirmed in isolation, although their first tests had returned negative results.
"That means they do not pose a risk to the public and bear no implication on our existing programme of contact tracing," Fong said.
But the children and five members of the family had now contracted the virus, he said.
"Let that be a lesson in how transmissible this variant is and how vital it is that measures are followed by everyone.
"These measures don't just protect you. They protect the people you love. They protect your neighbours. And they protect everyone you might come in contact with."
However there was good news, Fong said. Three active cases had recovered and been discharged from isolation.
Factory worker's contacts identified
Meanwhile, all contacts of a garment factory worker who tested positive for Covid-19 have been identified.
Fong said Case 113 - the garment factory worker - had 877 contacts who were split between the Lyndhurst and Mark One Apparel factories in Nasinu.
He said the snap lockdown had hindered the ministry's contact tracing and swabbing campaign throughout Suva and Nausori.
But he said officials were rapidly making up that ground. "We have identified all 877 contacts of case 113."
Fong said they had travelled with the woman on the same bus and who worked close to her.
Earlier, Fong warned that living in remote areas did not provide any protection against Covid-19 when people continued to move from rural areas to urban centres.
He appealed to rural communities to restrict travel to their areas.
"A number of communities have taken the step of adopting lockdown measures of their own," Fong said.
"This is a prudent and responsible action under the current circumstances.
"I encourage all of our rural and maritime communities to restrict travel into your communities if you can."
Fong said this measure could go a long way toward keeping rural communities safe.
100,000 calls for food packs
Since Friday's announcement of the snap lockdown measures in Suva and Nausori, 100,000 calls had been received by the ministry on its food ration hotline.
Fong said he was disappointed to learn that several members of the same households were inundating the number with calls.
"We made it clear that food is distributed on a household-by-household basis," he said.
"Attempts to game the system only succeed at delaying the delivery of food to Fijians with a genuine need.
"That selfishness has serious consequences for those who need this assistance."
Fong urged the public to use good sense and stop wasting officials' time.
Businesses hit hard
About 80 per cent of businesses have closed down in Nadi, the town's Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) warned.
Chamber president Dr Ram Raju said public transportation was at a standstill and fewer people were in the business zones of Nadi Town, Martintar and Namaka.
Raju said general practitioners and pharmacists were also reporting their businesses could be down by 60 per cent or more.
"Supermarkets are open, however, we do not see crowds at the entrances.
"Hardships are likely to be felt across the society if the lockdown and restrictions continue," he said.
He acknowledged the efforts of the Health Ministry in trying to contain the spread of the virus.
"I am sure the temporary setback will be overcome in due course."
But Raju said it was difficult to predict a timeframe.
As of Saturday, Fiji has 49 active Covid-19 cases in isolation, 31 of them locally transmitted. Two patients are still being investigated to determine their source of transmission.
Fiji has had 119 Covid-19 cases in total, 68 recovered and two deaths reported.
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