SUVA, March 11 (Xinhua) -- COVID-19 testing will now be carried out in Fiji after Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama officially opened the Molecular Laboratory at the Fiji Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the capital city of Suva on Wednesday.
Bainimarama said this will allow all suspected cases of COVID-19 to be tested at the lab locally and that they would no longer send samples of a suspected COVID-19 case to Australia for testing.
Fiji's Health Minister Ifereimi Waqainabete said they have been preparing for any possible cases of COVID-19 which includes possible quarantine and isolation facilities around Fiji.
Permanent Secretary for the Health Ministry Bernadette Welch said earlier that local testing will enable health professionals to obtain results quickly, normally within a day.
This will make a big difference in Fiji's ability to monitor cases, she said, adding that the ministry is advising the public to practice proper personal hygiene as the way COVID-19 spreads is through droplets.
The CDC molecular lab is World Health Organization accredited.
As of Wednesday, Fiji has no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its borders.
The island nation has announced entry and transit restriction for foreign nationals who have been to China, Italy, Iran or South Korea within 14 days before arriving in Fiji.