Covid-19: UN worker medivaced to NZ is stable, but still in hospital 70 days on – Stuff.co.nz

Posted: October 7, 2021 at 3:35 pm

A United Nations worker from Fiji who was medically evacuated to New Zealand with Covid-19 in July is now in a stable condition, but remains in hospital 70 days later.

A request for the woman, a worker with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to be transferred and treated in New Zealand was initially declined for capacity reasons, but the medivac flight went ahead on July 29.

The patient arrived in Auckland in a Skyline Aviation jet and was transported to Middlemore Hospital by an ambulance.

More than two months later, the woman remains in hospital, but is out of intensive care, no longer has Covid-19 and is in a stable condition, Stuff understands.

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The UNs resident co-ordinator for Fiji, Sanaka Samarasinha, told Stuff on Thursday he wanted to express his deep gratitude to the doctors and staff at Middlemore Hospital.

Chris McKeen/Stuff

The UN worker has been at Middlemore since July 29.

He also wanted to thank the New Zealand Government and all those who made this small miracle happen.

He previously told Stuff the woman was in quite a critical stage when she was flown to New Zealand. She was not given preferential treatment, he said.

Since the pandemic began, the UN has medically evacuated about 300 staff around the world as part of its duty of care to staff who are deployed to work in high-risk situations, he said.

However, the woman was the first to be evacuated from Fiji into New Zealand during the Covid-19 pandemic, Samarasinha said.

Requests for medical treatment in New Zealand from overseas jurisdictions, particularly the Pacific, are common, the Ministry of Health said.

According to the Fiji Ministry of Health, there are 2864 active cases of Covid-19 in the country.

There have been 645 deaths in total since Fijis April outbreak.

Ninety-three per cent of the eligible population of Fiji have now had their first dose of the vaccine, and 65 per cent are fully vaccinated.

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Covid-19: UN worker medivaced to NZ is stable, but still in hospital 70 days on - Stuff.co.nz

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