The B1617 variant first detected in India could be the cause of with the second wave of COVID-19 as six new cases were detected and these are all in quarantine, including soldiers who have broken protocol.

Health Permanent Secretary, Doctor James Fong, says this is the deadly variant found in India, Brazil, South Africa, UK, and the USA and if we do not control this in the next fortnight, we are in for a rough waters as Fiji, its people and its economy could face major destruction.

Four of the six are of soldiers returning from overseas and fraternizing amongst themselves, breaching the rules in place, while two are family members of the woman from Wainitarawau, Cunningham case and not considered transmission risk.

Due to the actions of the soldiers, all individuals who were discharged from Tanoa Hotel from April 12th will be called back to be screened and swabbed.

Doctor Fong says the mischievous behavior of the soldiers has affected not only Fijians but also those who had followed rules while in quarantine, which is a sad occasion.

He goes on to ask people to download and use the CareFiji App, and use the 40 screening clinics and visit them if people are not feeling well, or call 158 if people want the team to come and screen them.

The Health Ministry says there are a number of businesses and organizations, who want exemption from containment but the Ministry needs to act strictly as possible.

Head of Health Protection, Alisha Sahukhan says we now have a total 109 cases since last year,  with currently 42 active cases in isolation.

These are five older border quarantine, 13 recently border quarantine and 24 local transmitted cases.

A total of 48,677 tests have been conducted out of that 777 tests per day has been happening in the last seven days, and daily tests have increased due to the recent cases.

Of the cases announced yesterday, first up was a soldier, who is a roommate of case 73  or soldier who was announced positive last Sunday, while there were also four cases, who are all contacts of the hotel maid from Nadi, who had tested positive after having contracted the virus from the first solider or case 73, during an interaction.

The latest cases continue after the maid from Nadi tested positive last week.

The army officer had got the virus, after handling the baggage of a couple who had arrived from India with the virus.

Following that we had a woman from Cunningham, who had attended the ‘Super Spreader’ funeral in Tavakubu, Lautoka, her 14-year-old daughter and toddler contracted the virus as well.

The maid’s daughter and a close contact along with another couple who attended the funeral, have also tested positive, with the woman from Makoi.