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Fiji declares self free of COVID-19, first nation to do so

FIJI has declared itself free of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic after all 18 people who tested positive for the virus have recovered.

Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of the South Pacific country, said on Friday that it had just cleared the last of its active patients.

He wrote on Twitter: “And even with our testing numbers climbing by the day, it’s now been 45 days since we recorded our last case. With no deaths, our recovery rate is 100%,” Bainimarama wrote on Twitter.

“Answered prayers, hard work, and affirmation of science!”

Fiji, which has a population of 900,000, imposed a lockdown in certain areas in April and put in place ongoing border restrictions.

How does a country certify it is free of the COVID-19 pandemic ?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) declares a country free from a virus when there hasn’t been a confirmed case after twice the maximum incubation period, which is the time of first exposure to an infection and the onset of symptoms.

In the case of the novel coronavirus, the WHO has said the maximum incubation period is 14 days

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