Asish Prasad lost his father in 2020. Shortly afterward, his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Asish flew to Lautoka, Fiji, the following February to support his mother during her difficult journey through treatment—but things didn’t happen as planned. And now the family has been left waiting indefinitely for treatment to even be available.

Asish’s mother has been waiting for a full three months for her local hospital to open back up so she can receive chemotherapy treatment for her cancer. During this time, the Latouka Hospital has been being used as a COVID-19 treatment center and has not been open to the general public.

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Since the hospital became a COVID-19 treatment center, several staff members have also tested positive for the disease.

“This chemotherapy is important, and she should get it as soon as possible,” says Asish.

All the same, he says, his mother is a high-risk patient who cannot afford to be around people with COVID-19. Even if she were allowed in for treatment, it could be very dangerous for her to go.

Photo: Adobe Stock/Bernard Chantal

“Bottom line is, I want to walk into a hospital that is Covid-free as my mum is highly likely to get the virus, which would be devastating to us,” says Asish.

The family has considered taking the sick woman to another hospital for treatment, despite the fact that travel could also pose a serious risk to her health. But travelers are required to pass through certain checkpoints, and travel is only being permitted to and from certain areas in the case of medical emergencies. Despite the gravity of the situation, Asish’s mother’s condition has not been classified as a medical emergency, so she has been prevented from leaving for treatment.

Photo: Adobe Stock/DarwelShots

So Asish and his mother have no choice but to wait until things go back to normal or close to it before she can get her treatment.

Fiji has had two major outbreaks recently, and there are currently nine clusters of COVID-19 infection in the area, two of which are close to where Asish and his mother are residing. Asish says people have not been good about following social distancing measures, and he worries for his mother’s health.

We can only hope that COVID-19 cases in the area lower substantially in the near future so that Asish’s mother is able to get into the Latouka Hospital or travel to another hospital for treatment. We wish both of them the best during this difficult time.

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