COVID-19 Situation Update
Monday Afternoon 31 May, 2021
We recorded an additional 6 cases last night plus another 23 cases this morning. All these new cases are linked to existing clusters. All of these cases are stable and are either in isolation facilities or home isolation. The new cases are linked to the following communities and clusters:
● Narere – 2
● Waila – 3
● Nawaka (Nadi) – 9
● Navy cluster – 15
A correction has been made to the total case count. One case was found to have been tested and entered twice, as the individual provided different names while being swabbed on two occasions: as a result, the individual was entered first as case 309 and then a second time as case 346. After correcting this error, by removing the duplicate, we have recorded 429 cases in Fiji since March of last year and 359 during the current outbreak. There have been 3 recoveries, which means there are now 258 active cases. All cases are stable and 2 are considered to be severe.
We have received genomic sequencing results from the reference lab in Melbourne for positive samples during this outbreak. The most recent case sample in this batch of results in case 158 (an Extra Supermarket worker). The results show that, based on the samples that have been sequenced, B.1.617.2, the variant of concern that was first identified in India, is the only variant circulating in the community. Subsequent positive case samples have been sent to Melbourne for genomic sequencing and we are awaiting results.
The Ministry is also further extending its community surveillance testing in the community. This will be done with our security forces and in some instances will involve creating screening zones especially in densely populated communities that will involve restricting movement while the screening teams do their work. Please do not panic. This does not mean there is a positive case in your neighbourhood. It only means we are screening to facilitate the safety of your neighbourhood.
A Word About Transmission
It is very important for everyone to understand how easily this virus is transmitted. Misunderstanding, complacency and wishful thinking are some of our greatest obstacles in combating this virus. First, people must remember that they can have the virus and transmit the virus to others even if they show no symptoms. Second, our contact tracing makes clear that the average person can come into contact with dozens of other people in the course of a day. Put those two factors together and you have a formula for significant spread.
The Ministry analyzed data this week from 82 people and found that they had 3,444 contacts among them. This is why we ask people to go out only for essential purposes, to use the careFIJI app, to remember their movements and contacts and to cooperate fully with the contact tracers.
Please constantly keep in your minds that the virus is still among us and we must always exercise extreme care.
A new shipment of vaccines arrived yesterday. There were no vaccinations administered on Sunday, but the vaccination programme will continue this week in the Lami-Nausori and Nadi-Lautoka corridors.