Repatriation flights postponed for proper quarantine management

Repatriation flights scheduled next week from Nadi in Fiji and Brisbane, Australia, have been postponed following a request from the Ministry of Health (MoH) to properly manage the high number of repatriates in quarantine before another group can arrive.

The number of repatriates in quarantine will exceed the MoH’s recommended figure, which is 650, with the arrival of seasonal workers on chartered flights from New Zealand (NZ) and next week’s repatriation, said the Director of Public Health and Spokesperson on COVID-19 matters, Len Tarivonda.

This could stretch resources and could lead to breaches, he stressed.

He explained that next week’s repatriation flights are deferred to allow health and police officials to properly monitor and manage repatriates in quarantine and avoid complaints and breaches as encountered previously.

COVID-19 is not the only concern, the health officials engaging in the quarantine process have their own daily responsibilities and other important health activities to accomplish, said Director Tarivonda.

Currently, over 300 repatriates are still under quarantine.

Over 300 seasonal workers are expected to be repatriated on the two chartered flights from NZ. The first flight arrived yesterday while the second is expected tomorrow (Sunday).

Around 90 repatriates are expected to return on the next flight from Fiji which has been deferred to September 24.

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