Nowhere is safe, Dr Fong cautions

Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong urges caution as he warns against complacency particularly those whose residence or places they frequent are not identified as red zones for active cases as Fiji records 180 new cases, setting a new daily highest of infections since 2020.

Recent cases have shown that contacts of active cases who are at risk of contracting COVID19 reside in areas beyond infection transmission points.

“This is the reason we find the cluster discussion pointless. The quicker Fiji works with the idea that nowhere in Fiji is safe, the faster we can move out of the difficult position we are in,” Dr Fong said as he reiterates the importance of adhering to COVID-safe protocols at all times.

Fiji’s Minister for Health Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said to cope with increasing cases, the ministry has had to deploy personnel in bubbles, to ensure they have teams to step in if a facility or a team/bubble is compromised.

“We continue to review our protocols, review our best practises so that we minimise the effect that it has on front liners,” Dr Waqainabete said.

As of 8 am today, Fiji recorded 180 new coronavirus infections, with the majority reported within the Suva-Nausori zone.

Two new COVID19 deaths were also confirmed, bringing the total COVID19 deaths during the current outbreak to seven and a cumulative total of 9 since March 2020.  One was a 42-year-old man whose death was announced yesterday and only confirmed as COVID-19 related today. The other is a 68-year-old admitted to the CWM Hospital for a pre-existing non-COVID medical condition. He tested positive during his admission.

Fiji’s recovery rate stands at 27% after 86 more patients recovered. A total of 1631 positive individuals remain in isolation.

Other Deaths Under Investigation
Two other deaths were reported at CWMH today.

One is a 57-year-old male who was also admitted to the hospital for a pre-existing non-COVID medical condition. He tested positive during his admission, and his doctors are investigating to determine if his death was caused by COVID-19. 

The second is a 66-year-old female who was declared dead on arrival at the emergency department.

“According to protocol she was swabbed and also tested positive for COVID-19. Her doctors are conducting investigations to determine if her death was caused by COVID-19.”

In the current outbreak, Fiji has had eight other deaths, all of them COVID-19 positive patients. However, their deaths were attributed to pre-existing non-COVID-19 related illnesses.

Testing Update
A total of 132,761 samples have been tested since this outbreak started in April 2021, with 175,622 tested since testing began in early 2020. On 20 June 2459 tests were reported. The national 7-day daily test average is 3124 tests per day or 3.5 tests per 1000 population. The national 7-day average daily test positivity is 4.4% and continues on an upward trend despite high levels of testing.

Screening Update
The 56 stationery screening clinics remain operational throughout the country. A total of 5,998 individuals were screened and 933 swabbed at the clinics in the last 24 hours. The mobile screening clinics have now screened 183,839 individuals and swabbed 22,784 individuals since commencement. 

Vaccination Update
Almost 44% of Fiji’s target population –– 256,117 individuals in total –– have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Of these, 18,000 individuals have also received their second dose.

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