BY JARED KOLI
Another 12 students in Fiji have reportedly tested positive for covid-19, bringing the total to 22.
Two weeks ago, 10 Solomon Islands students were reported having tested positive. Yesterday, Island Sun was reliably informed of 12 more cases.
But, the Ministry of Education and Human Resources (MEHRD) and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) are still not aware about this.
A student leader who is in contact with the positive cases informed Island Sun that the Solomon Islands High Commission Office in Fiji and the Education Attaché (EA) in Fiji have been silent on this matter.
The student leader who wants to remain anonymous, said only the Solomon Islands Students Association (SISA) office has reached out to assist the covid-19 positive cases.
“However, if the current positive cases keep increasing for Solomon Islands students, and if no help rendered from the authorities, SISA savings will not be able to provide assistance to the students.
“It was unacceptable when I see the recent Prime Minister’s address that things are not that serious here. In actual fact, I think the EA and High Commission Office here are not considering this issue seriously.”
The source said another 12 students tested positive after the initial 10 positive students were reported early this month. They are all currently quarantined at their homes.
The student leader said the High Commission Office and the EA have not even informed students on the increase of cases so as to inform and keep students aware of their current status regarding the virus.
“On the part that they said they are not sick, it was not true some are sick and experience difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath. Currently they are only receiving help from SISA office.
“We are not aware when they will seek assistance from the national government or when the government to step in and assist us on this issue; the government take it lightly but the cases here is increasing.
“It has been four months since we are without any assistance, all these positive cases receive help from SISA only to pay and distribute food to them,” the well-placed source said from Suva yesterday.
The source adds, housemates of those who have contracted the virus have taken their swabs and are waiting for their results.
Island Sun yesterday reached out to MHMS advisor Dr Yogesh Choudhri, MEHRD Permanent Secretary (PS) and National Scholarship Division Director – if they were already informed of this and what steps the government would take.
Only MEHRD PS Dr Franco Rodie responded. Mr Rodie said he will not comment as he has not received any update on the cases.
“I have not been updated on the cases you referred to so I will not comment.
“For your information, all SIG sponsored students in Fiji have received their allowances for the month of July and the rest of semester 2 allowances have been remitted to the Education Bank Account in Suva and will be made available to them accordingly,” said Rodie.
Fiji is recording a surge in coronavirus cases daily. It had 647 new cases and one death to report for the 24-hour period that ended at 8am on Tuesday.
There have been 59 deaths due to covid-19 in Fiji; 57 of these deaths during the outbreak that started in April this year.
According to Fiji Ministry of Health, Fiji also have recorded 27 covid-19 positive patients who died from the serious medical conditions that they had before they contracted covid-19; these are not classified as covid-19 deaths.
“There have been 230 new recoveries reported since the last update, which means that there are now 9,725 active cases. There have been 11,962 cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021. We have recorded a total of 12,032 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020, with 2,221 recoveries.”