Fiji’s Ministry of Health has confirmed the death of the country’s COVID19 patient 125, in what is also the country’s first for a person who had contracted the virus locally.
Despite the efforts of the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) team, the [53-year-old man] passed away just a few hours later with a time of death at 6.35 pm [Wednesday 5 May 2021], Permanent Secretary of Health Dr James Fong said in a statement issued a short while ago.
In the same statement, he said they knew about the death before the press conference on Wednesday evening, but chose not to announce it then out of respect for the patient’s family who needed to be properly informed and provided the space and privacy to mourn their loss.
Dr Fong said the case underlined that the virus can attack anyone and with devastating consequences, calling on the public “to show concern and sympathy for all people who become infected.”
“We also urge the public once again to get tested if there is even a small chance you may have been exposed to the virus, to cooperate fully with the contact tracing teams, and to observe the practices that will keep us all safe,” Dr Fong said.
The man had been admitted at Lautoka Hospital since 19 April, when he was admitted for a surgical procedure. He was admitted to the Lautoka Hospital Intensive Care Unit yesterday “for a severe illness due to COVID-19.”
This is Fiji’s third reported death, following two recorded in 2020 both border quarantine cases and males.