COVID-19 Fiji: Fiji reports first death in months

Fiji has reported its first COVID-19-related death in nearly three months as the country’s 7-day average of daily cases more than doubled.

In their latest update this week, Fiji’s Ministry of Health reported the death of a COVID-19-positive patient. Although the patient’s death was attributed to other causes it was the first coronavirus-related fatality to be reported since mid-September.

It comes as the country’s average daily number of new cases over a 7-day period increased to 14 from six, with new cases totaling 76 and seven reinfections plus 24 hospitalised as opposed to 68 new cases and 18 in hospital reported in the previous week.

However, despite the development, the ministry has not announced new measures, only advising everyone on the need to remain cautious and maintain community-wide adoption of COVID safe measures where appropriate particularly when around vulnerable persons. The ministry stated that while numbers have increased, the number of severe cases has remained low.

Of the 24 hospitalised in the reporting week, 71 per cent are asymptomatic and mild, 21 per cent or five are in the moderate category and eight per cent or two are in the severe category with nil cases in the critical category.

“For the general public, we are advising that COVID safe measures need to be instituted around the elderly, those with chronic disease, pregnant mothers, and children with disabilities,” the ministry stated in its latest COVID-19 update.

“This involves proper masking of those caring for vulnerable persons, safe physical distancing for those visiting them, and ensuring they engage in highly ventilated spaces when they venture out of their homes. It is important for those with chronic diseases to be on proper treatment that ensures the optimal control of the diseases they have. This means that diabetics need their blood sugar to be as near normal as possible, hypertensives need their blood pressure well controlled, and those with cardiac conditions to be as symptom-free as possible.

“We emphasise the point that strengthening our ability to live with COVID means we remain vigilant, maintain community-wide adoption of COVID safe measures where appropriate, and maintain the impetus for immunisation This is the only means to reduce the disease spread and protect those in the community who are less able to fend for themselves.”

Meanwhile, deaths from COVID-19 remain at 878 since 29 August. Deaths of COVID-19-positive patients who died from other serious medical conditions unrelated to COVID-19 have increased to 998, one up since mid-September.

In terms of vaccination take-up rate since 15 September, for adults and children between 15 and 17 years of age it remains negligible at less than one percent, however for those aged between 12 and 14, it stands at 4.5%.

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