Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

Fiji fears Covid ‘tsunami’ as cases from Indian variant are detected

- Agencies letters@hindustant­imes.com

SUVA, FIJI/ BARCELONA: A Covid-19 outbreak that forced Fiji’s capital Suva into lockdown after the island nation avoided transmissi­on for a year was confirmed as the Indian variant of the virus on Tuesday, with health officials saying they are fearing a “tsunami” of infections.

The Pacific country had largely dodged community transmissi­on before a cluster emerged this month centred on a quarantine facility in Nadi, the city that is home to Fiji’s internatio­nal airport. The permanent secretary for health and medical services, James Fong, said six new cases emerged in quarantine facilities on Tuesday.

“We cannot let that nightmare happen in Fiji,” he said. “We still have time to stop it from 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.”

In Spain, there has been “no sign” of Covid-19 infection among 5,000 unvaccinat­ed people who took part in an indoor trial concert last month in Barcelona seeking safe ways to attend events, organisers have said.

All the participan­ts underwent PCR tests two weeks after the March 27 event and “there is no sign that suggests transmissi­on took place during the event,” said Josep Maria Llibre, a specialist in infectious diseases from the Germans Trias i Pujol hospital.

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