Statement by the Permanent Secretary for Health & Medical Services
COVID-19 Daily Update
Monday 7th June, 2021
We have recorded another 64 cases since yesterday’s update. The new cases stem from the following existing clusters:
Waila – 1
COVID-19 Incident Management Team (IMT) – 10
For the 83 cases reported yesterday, we can now confirm that 77 were, in fact, connected to existing clusters:
IMT – 23
CWMH – 14
Waila – 6
Caubati – 3
Navosai – 11
RFMF – 4
Shop & Save supermarket – 6
Samabula – 9
Nawaka – 1
The potential for new clusters relates to the 5 cases in Naitasiri and 1 case in Tavua.
A patient at CWM Hospital, who had tested positive while admitted, died yesterday. However, it has been determined that his death was caused by the serious medical illnesses for which he had been admitted to the hospital, and not COVID-19.
20 patients have recovered, which means there are now 515 active cases in isolation. There have been 681 cases during the current outbreak that started in April 2021.
We have recorded a total of 751 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020. We have had 230 recoveries and 4 deaths due to COVID-19.
A total of 86,055 samples have been tested since this outbreak started in April 2021, with 126,476 tested since testing began in early 2020.
2,402 samples were tested and reported on June 6th. The national 7-day daily test average is 2883 tests per day or 3.3 per 1000 population. The national 7-day average daily test positivity is 1.6%.
Breaking of Protocols
We are concerned about recurring incidents of individuals violating established protocols designed to prevent the spread of the virus. These breaches are potentially dangerous and endanger the health and lives of all Fijians.
One individual travelled from Naitasiri and had a grog session with acquaintances in Tavua Village. With the support of Tui Tavua, we have facilitated a lockdown of Tavua Village for an initial 4 days. We will screen all contacts and then plan a more targeted lockdown area in the village. We know that this is not an isolated case of social gathering behaviour that is prolonging the COVID-19 outbreak in Fiji by allowing the virus to move further into our communities. Our non-containment zones are still at risk of being breached. Fijians living in non-containment must also act as if the virus is already in their communities by avoiding social gathering and observing the COVID safe protocols and guidelines we have issued. That is the way we will get back to normal quickly.
After thorough decontamination following some cases among staff in the Incident Management Team Warehouse, the warehouse facility has been fully re-opened allowing for a complete supply chain of essential items for our frontline officials.
Our contact tracing investigations have identified several of our vaccination personnel as secondary contacts of an earlier-announced case in Nadi. As a result, the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Nadi has been temporarily halted until these staff can be swabbed and cleared. We thank those awaiting vaccination in Nadi for their patience.
While an overwhelming majority of new cases are linked to existing clusters, it is clear that the recent escalation in daily case numbers from the Central Division signals the increasing severity of this outbreak. The emergence of clusters outside of the Lami-Nausori containment zone in Naitasiri is also a cause for concern. And the cases within the CWM Hospital, as well as within the COVID-19 Incident Management Team, are serious developments that have had an impact on our ability to respond. We can expect more cases.
Therefore, now more than ever – we are urging every Fijian to consistently take heed of the measures we have announced to protect yourselves and your loved ones from this virus. If you leave your home you should behave as if every single person you encounter is potentially a carrier of COVID-19. Anyone can get COVID-19, but we can all reduce our risk by following these simple rules if we have to leave home: Wear a well-fitted mask, maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres between yourself and others, download the careFIJI app and activate your Bluetooth, avoid crowds and crowded, confined places. And wash your hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitiser. Do not attend or organize social gatherings. Don’t meet up with friends. Don’t share a bowl of grog with workmates after work or anyone outside your household. Don’t visit family that live outside your home. It is safest to avoid interacting with anyone who is not a member of your household as much as possible.
We applaud the strong leadership of the Tui Tavua and other community leaders who are helping to rapidly escalate necessary public health containment measures. The support of all communities, outside or within containment zones, through the promotion and enforcement of COVID-safe behaviour is vital for our national effort to stop the spread of this virus.