Fiji announced it was coronavirus free Friday after the island nation’s last known infected patient was given the all-clear, continuing the Pacific’s remarkable record of success against the virus. There was a moment of panic in the population of Fiji when the first case had been encountered in mid-march. The prime minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama stated that even with the testing numbers climbing, it has now been 45 days since the last case was encountered. With no deaths, the recovery rate of the island is 100%. The Pacific islands were initially seen as among the world’s most vulnerable to the virus because of under-resourced health infrastructure and high rates of health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. There were also fears that Fiji could turn the geographic isolation of the island into infection incubators, like when a measles epidemic in Samoa late last year killed 83 people, most of them babies and toddlers. However, nations in the region acted swiftly and made the costly decision to seal borders and shut down the tourism trade that sustained their economies, to protect their populations.
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