The Latest: Fiji locks down hospital over coronavirus death

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People wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus walk past an advertising poster in Hong Kong, Wednesday, May 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Soldiers and police in the Pacific nation of Fiji have surrounded and locked down a major hospital.

Health authorities say they are quarantining 400 patients, doctors, nurses and other staff within the compound until they can determine who had contact with a coronavirus patient who died there.

The 53-year-old patient at Lautoka Hospital was only the third person to die from the virus in Fiji, which has about 1 million people. But the nation’s leaders are deeply worried that the latest outbreak is spreading, especially after two doctors at the hospital tested positive for the virus.

A health official says the hospital is closed and all medical services are being diverted to other facilities. The official says those sequestered in the hospital will be provided with food, bedding and whatever other supplies they need.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— U.S. virus toll projected to drop by end of July

— Canada approves Pfizer vaccine for ages 12 and older