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Anaesthetist details what it's like working during Fiji's Covid crisis

A Kiwi anaesthetist helping out with non life-threatening surgeries in Fiji has nothing but praise for Fijian colleagues working amid the country's Covid-19 crisis.

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Dr Tony Diprose says the staff he is working in Fiji with are "awesome" and he is humbled by them. Source: Breakfast

Since the country's current Covid outbreak began in April, there have been about 32,000 cases and 259 deaths.

Dr Tony Diprose told Breakfast he is working with some "awesome" staff. 

"In a way I’m kind of doing my day job, but in a very different setting and with a very different bunch of people and unfortunately with a lot of patients who have Covid as well…"

Although Fiji's health system was "really constrained at the moment", he described working with a "fantastic local obstetrician" on three Caesarean section's the other day. 

He said the obstetrician took a call afterwards from his in-laws about his own wife, who is pregnant and has Covid-19. 

Dr Tony Diprose. Source: 1 NEWS

They had called with an update on his wife's heart rate and blood pressure.

"When you work with people like that, it's really humbling...," Diprose said.

He described working in PPE as hot and said there was a lot of anxiety among colleagues about catching the virus. 

However, he added: "I guess I hope that if I needed help, or my country needed help, someone would come..."

"It’s a terrible situation...I really feel for them. People are doing the best they can," Diprose described of Fiji. 

"If you can help, if you can help the patients and your colleagues and your friends, then you can represent your country. I’d never jump high enough, run fast enough to be on that podium but this is something that I can do."