Trans-Tasman medical team to support Fiji COVID19 response

A joint Australian-New Zealand Medical Assistance Team (MAT) arrived in the country last night in response to a request by the Fijian Government.

Comprising medical professionals from Australia and New Zealand, the team will provide an advisory role to the Fijian Government’s coronavirus outbreak response.

During their 28-day stay in the country, the team will also assess whether there is a need for further support to Fiji and make those recommendations to the Fijian Government who will decide whether additional help is required.

The deployment of a MAT team comes on the back of other assistance provided by the two Trans-Tasman governments in recent months, including provisions of additional vaccines and funding for food rations this week, to bolster Fiji’s response to the country’s second COVID19 outbreak

Yesterday, the Australian Government via the Australian High Commission handed over 50,000 AstraZeneca vaccine to the Ministry of Health. The batch is the latest deployment as part of the Australian Government 1-million vaccine doses commitment to Fiji.

On the same day, New Zealand Government announced additional assistance including up to $5 million for the Government to deliver COVID-19 operations, and $5 million to local civil society organisations working directly with households to mitigate poverty risks, including through the provision of food rations. New Zealand will also be providing Fiji with 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine which is expected to be delivered, in one deployment, by September. A New Zealand Defence Force public health/infectious disease specialist will be deployed in the near future.

As of 8 am yesterday, Fiji recorded 126 new coronavirus cases, and 59 recoveries bringing the total active cases in isolation to 1542. There have been 2020 cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021 and a cumulative total of 2090 cases since the first case in March 2020.

There have been 532 recoveries, and seven deaths due to COVID-19 in Fiji, with five of these deaths during the current outbreak. Eight other COVID-19 positive patients died from pre-existing non-COVID-19 related illnesses during the second outbreak. One death is under investigation. 

As of 19 June 2021, 256,018 individuals had received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, equating to close to 44% of the target population. Of these, 17,990 have received their second dose.

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