COVID-19 Claims Second Life in Fiji Within a Week, Prompting Need for Vigilance

Fiji recorded its second COVID-19 death this month, as a 90-year-old man, who had tested positive for the virus and experienced respiratory symptoms, passed away from a suspected heart attack in Labasa.

This recent fatality follows the country’s first death in five months, reported just a week ago.

With a total of 885 COVID-19 deaths, Fiji maintains a relatively low daily average and a case fatality rate of 1.28%.

In their latest advisory issued yesterday, Fiji’s Ministry of Health highlighted that the death is consistent with current trends of higher death rates among older age groups, particularly those aged 60 and above.

Notably, vaccinated adults are at a significantly lower risk of death compared to their unvaccinated counterparts.

The Central Division in Fiji has seen the highest number of COVID-19 deaths, while the Northern Division has recorded the highest death rate when adjusted for population.

In addition, Fiji has reported that 1,007 individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 died from unrelated serious medical conditions.

Currently, there are no direct hospital admissions specifically attributed to COVID-19, although some admitted patients have tested positive for the virus.

COVID-19 cases
In the same advisory, the ministry noted a surge in COVID-19 cases, although symptoms and severity remain similar to previous strains.

“Recent mutations of COVID-19 have led to less severe disease. This is because the virus must give up something, in this case, its ability to harm, to survive. We continue to focus on implementing COVID safe measures around those vulnerable to the severe effects of COVID-19. This includes escalating measures in hospitals, old people’s homes, and facilities catering to disabled persons. As such we expect to escalate screening protocols and masking for staff, patients, and visitors. Furthermore, visitor restrictions will be in place.”

As of Thursday, June 15, there were 43 new cases recorded in Fiji, bringing the total case numbers since March 2020, to 69,072.

While vaccination mandates have been rescinded, the ministry strongly encourages immunisation, adding that avoiding COVID-19 is important to prevent severe illness, hospital strain, reinfection, and long COVID.

“Also, anyone who falls sick should not be attending work or school, especially if they have COVID-19-like symptoms. You must get tested for COVID-19; 5-day isolation is recommended if you have tested positive.”

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