Second Australian Medical Assistance Team to boost Fiji Covid-19 response

  • Joint media release with:
  • The Hon Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Defence
  • Senator the Hon Zed Seselja, Minister for International Development and the Pacific

Australia continues to work closely with the Government of Fiji to support its response to the escalating COVID-19 crisis and protect the health and security of our close friends and neighbours.

On advice from Australian medical experts currently in Suva, Australia will deploy a second medical assistance team to Fiji on 14 July.

This multi-disciplinary team, consisting of 17 personnel from Australia and New Zealand, will be in Suva for 28 days. The team will partner with Fijian authorities to strengthen infection prevention and control at healthcare facilities. They will also support the Fijian emergency medical assistance team to establish temporary surge healthcare facilities for the rapidly growing demand.

Australia will also provide three fully equipped ambulances—leased from Australian medical service providers St John Ambulance and Careflight—to help with patient transport.

In addition, Australia will supply oxygen equipment, stretcher beds, personal protective equipment and GeneXpert machines to boost community testing.

The personnel and equipment will be flown from Brisbane to Nadi on a Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster III aircraft.

Australia stands with Fiji and its healthcare professionals in this critical public health response. The Government of Fiji has dramatically increased testing and contact tracing, restricted inter-island movement and international passenger travel and implemented localised lockdowns and containment measures.

They are also continuing their vaccine roll out, with almost 60 per cent of the target population having received at least one dose. Australia has so far provided 390,000 vaccine doses and will continue to provide further supplies, reaching 500,000 over the next two weeks.

This vaccine support is part of the Morrison Government's commitment to share up to 15 million doses with the Pacific and Timor-Leste by mid-2022.

This AUSMAT deployment follows an initial seven-person deployment in June, which has provided public health and clinical support, and assisted with the development of infection prevention control measures to allow Fiji's frontline health workers to meet critical care needs.

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