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Fiji reports first COVID-19 case in 78 days

SUVA: Fiji’s 78-day run without coronavirus is over, with Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama confirming Monday a 66-year-old man tested positive after returning from India.

It is the 19th case in the small South Pacific island nation, and more are now expected.

“We’ve confirmed a border case of COVID-19 among a returning citizen while he was securely in the confines of government-funded quarantine,” Bainimarama said.

All arrivals to Fiji have to undergo 14 days of quarantine.

The acting permanent secretary for health, James Fong, said Fiji had deliberately refrained from calling itself “COVID-free” and was not surprised when the positive test was recorded Sunday.

“While Fiji may be free of community-based transmission of COVID-19, this pandemic is still raging beyond our shores,” he said.

“We don’t expect this to be Fiji’s last border quarantine case.”

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