COVID-19 Fiji: Voluntarily lockdown of villages on Kadavu

COVID-19 cases in Kadavu are averaging nearly 16 a day after 57 more coronavirus infections were detected on the island in the 24-hour period ending at 8am yesterday.

The newly recorded cases mean there have been 233 infections on the island since the first reported and fatal case around mid-August. There are 232 active cases on the island to date, three of them admitted to the hospital and are in stable condition.

The 57 patients, as with 175 previously reported active cases, have been placed in isolation and monitored by village headmen who have also voluntarily lockdown their villages among other measures taken in Kadavu to control the outbreak.

“Nine health screening teams have been deployed to systematically undertake outbreak assessment for the 75 villages and 15 settlements of Kadavu. Seven villages have been completed so far and the initial assessment is anticipated to be completed by the end of this first week of deployment.

“The teams are doing swabbing and screening, contact tracing, checking immunization status, and doing vaccination, as well as training the Community Health Workers in each community on monitoring positive patients in their own homes with pulse oximeters machines. Patients who show low readings in oximetry are referred to the zone nurses and Vunisea hospital or Kavala Health Centre for further assessment and care.”

Vunisea hospital has also been set up as the main COVID admission hospital in Kadavu with a 20-bed capacity, and sections of the hospital designated as a triage area, COVID admission wards, and Non-COVID admission wards.

“Additional surge admission capacity has been established at the admission block of the hospital, and the Vunisea Secondary School has been identified as the possible Intermediate Care facility if patient numbers continue to increase. For pregnant mothers, near-term mothers have been brought to Vunisea hospital for close monitoring. Processes for the management of the deceased have been established.”

Awareness-raising in villages is also being carried out, with the assistance of the provincial administrator Kadavu and his team. Movement restriction at Vunisea wharf has also been enforced to ensure minimal contact with people when freight and supplies are delivered at the wharf.

“The village headman in each village in Kadavu has voluntarily lockdown their villages, and positive villagers are strictly home isolated for 14 days and visited daily by village health workers or zone nurses for monitoring and assessment. Some villages have also established isolation houses away from the villages for their returning villagers who will only be allowed back into the village only after completing 14 days of isolation and cleared by the medical staff.”

Vaccination stats show an increase in dose one coverage on the island from around 24 per cent to now 86.8 per cent. However, double dose coverage remains at zero. The new cases on Kadavu were among 505 newly reported infections recorded in Fiji with 343 reported in the West and 105 in the central division.

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