PRESS RELEASE

COVID-19 Update – 01-10-2021

Last Updated on 2 months by Publishing Team

Media Release

COVID-19 Daily Update

Friday 01st October 2021 

Transmission Update

We have 107 new cases of COVID-19 to report for the 24 hour period that ended at 8 am today.

There have been 68 new recoveries to report since the last update, which means that there are now 12,859 active cases. There have been 51,060 cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021. We have recorded a total of 51,130 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020, with 37,148 recoveries.

We are currently reviewing and reconciling our active case database with deaths and recoveries and as a result, we expect the death and recovery numbers to intermittently change as verifications are made.

Deaths

We have seven COVID-19 deaths to report for the period from 08th July 2021 – 30th September 2021. Five deaths were reported from the Central Division and two deaths were reported from the Western Division. Kindly note four deaths are being reported from July due to a delay in the issuance of the official death certificate.

The first COVID-19 death to report is a 71-year-old woman from Navua. She presented to the Navua Hospital in severe respiratory distress. A medical team retrieved her from the Navua Hospital and transferred her to the CWM Hospital. Sadly, she died one day after admission on 12/09/2021. She was not vaccinated.

The second COVID-19 death to report is a 54-year-old woman from Lautoka. She presented to the Kamikamica Health Center with a two-day history of generalized body weakness and gastrointestinal symptoms that began on 19/09/2021. She was retrieved by a medical team and transferred to the Lautoka Hospital on the same day of her presentation (21/09/2021). Sadly, she died 9 days after admission on 30/09/2021. She received the first dose of the vaccine in early May. She received the second dose of the vaccine on 08/07/2021. Although she was fully vaccinated she had underlying medical conditions and background of poor general health. These pre-existing conditions would have toned down her ability to mount a good vaccine-induced immune response and thus impair her ability to fully benefit from the protective effects of the vaccine. The Ministry of Health and Medical Services advises that we all need to continue practicing strict COVID-19 safety measures to protect our vulnerable family members, irrespective of vaccination status.

The third COVID-19 death to report is a 76-year-old man from Suva who died at home on 09/07/2021. He was not vaccinated.

The fourth COVID-19 death to report is a 95-year-old woman from Suva who died at home on 09/07/2021. She was not vaccinated.

The fifth COVID-19 death to report is an 84-year-old man from Suva who died at home on 08/07/2021. He was not vaccinated.

The sixth COVID-19 death to report is a 75-year-old woman from Waila who died at home on 15/07/2021. She was not vaccinated.

The seventh COVID-19 death to report is a 59-year-old man from Rakiraki. He presented to the Rakiraki Hospital with severe respiratory distress. Sadly, he died on the same day (28/09/2021). He was not vaccinated.

There have also been 14 deaths of COVID-19 positive patients. However, these deaths have been classified as non-COVID deaths by their doctors. The doctors have determined that these deaths were caused by a serious pre-existing medical condition and not COVID-19.

There have now been 631 deaths due to COVID-19 in Fiji, with 629 of these deaths during the outbreak that started in April this year. Please note that due to the time required by clinical teams to investigate, classify and report deaths, a 4-day interval is given to calculate the 7 days rolling average of deaths, based on the date of death, to help ensure the data collected is complete before the average is reported. Therefore, as of September 26th, the national 7 days rolling average of COVID-19 deaths per day is 0.4. The 7 days rolling average for COVID-19 deaths per day in the Central Division is 0.1 and 0.3 in the Western Division.

We have also recorded 492 COVID-19 positive patients who died from the serious medical conditions that they had before they contracted COVID-19; these are not classified as COVID-19 deaths.

Hospitalisations

There are currently 81 COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital. 39 patients are admitted at the Lautoka Hospital and 42 are admitted at CWM hospital, St Giles, and Makoi. 5 patients are considered to be in severe condition, and 3 are in critical condition.

Screening Update

A total of 2,794 individuals were screened and 401 swabbed at our stationary screening clinics in the last 24 hours, bringing our cumulative total to 690,439 individuals screened and 102,454 swabbed to date. Our mobile screening teams screened a total of 3,162 individuals and swabbed 49. This brings our cumulative total to 851,380 individuals screened and 77,240 swabbed by our mobile teams.

Testing Update

A total of 370,476 samples have been tested since this outbreak started in April 2021, with 413,337 tested since testing began in March 2020. 1,295 tests have been reported for September 30th. The 7-day daily test average is 1,088 tests per day or 1.2 tests per 1,000 population. Weekly testing is at 9.7 tests per 1000 population, which remains above the WHO recommended level of 4 tests per 1000 population per week. The national 7-day average daily test positivity is 7.6%, which is on a downward trend, but it still is indicating a high level of community transmission.

Vaccination Update

To date, 592,628 adults in Fiji have received their first dose of the vaccine and 454,474  have received their second doses. Based on our updated total population of 618,173 people aged 18 years and over (adults), the revised vaccination coverage rates are 95.9% for adults who have received at least one dose, and 73.5% are now fully vaccinated nationwide. Please do note that since dose one is beyond 95%, a verification exercise for dose one is ongoing which may result in minor changes.

As for children, 17,996 children in Fiji have received their first dose of the vaccine as of 24/09/2021. We will be tracking our vaccine coverage rates once we have firmed up our 15 to 17-year-old denominator. The 15 to 17-year-old vaccination program will restart on Monday the 3rd of October. A list of vaccination sites will be posted on the Ministry of Health’s official website, Facebook page, and the Fijian Government Facebook page tomorrow.

For persons who are currently ill or have valid reasons for delaying their vaccination, we request you to apply for possible temporary exemptions through covidexemptionreq@gmail.com.

Epidemic Outlook

The 7-day average of new cases per day is 84 cases per day or 95 cases per million population per day. As previously announced by the Permanent Secretary, the daily case numbers are currently not being used as the sole indicator to monitor the progress of the outbreak. The Ministry is closely monitoring other indicators such as test positivity, hospitalisations, and deaths to track the progress of the outbreak.

With the decrease in testing numbers, our testing remains above the WHO recommended rate of 4 tests per 1,000 population per week (or approx. 3,500 tests per week). We will be transitioning to community surveillance testing as severe disease numbers and positivity rates approach the containment phase levels.

Five new cases were recorded in the villages of Muani and Namalata on Kadavu Island in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases to 582 cases. Of these, 556 cases have recovered and the remaining 26 active cases are under daily monitoring by the health team. Risk assessment revealed that 5 active cases are in the high-risk category and 21 in the low category. Seven patients are currently admitted at Vunisea hospital, of which 2 are COVID positive and currently in stable condition, and 5 are negative for COVID-19. Vaccination continues by the Vunisea health teams and the Kaval health teams. Movement restrictions remain in force supervised by the Police team and the Vanua.

Two new cases were reported on Malolo Island in the last 24 hours. Of the total of 89 cases, 57 have recovered, and 32 remain active. Daily monitoring continues for the active cases and their contacts. Vaccination of the villagers and distribution of food rations continue for the affected families. Movement restrictions remain in place.

No new cases were recorded on Naviti Island in the last 24 hours. Of the 181 cases, 163 have recovered and 18 remain active. Daily monitoring of cases and their contacts by the health team continues. The villages on the island remain under strict movement restrictions.

No new cases were recorded on Waya Island in the last 24 hours. Of the 51 cases on the island, 31 cases have recovered and 20 cases remain active and under daily monitoring by the health team. Vaccination of adults continues and the island remains on movement restriction.

The Nacula Medical Area did not report any new cases in the last 24 hours. Of the 155 cases in the medical area, 30 have recovered, and 125 remain active. The active cases are isolated in their respective villages and are monitored daily by the health teams from the respective medical areas. Movement restrictions remain in force for the islands.

No new cases were recorded on Beqa Island in the last 24 hours. Of the 252 cases on the island, 176 cases have now been recovered and 75 cases remain active. The active cases and the 100 primary contacts and the 12 secondary contacts are under home isolation and daily monitoring from the health team. Vaccination for the villagers commenced today while the 14 days lockdown for affected villages with no new cases has been lifted. Movement restriction remains in force for Yanuca Island.

Ovalau Island did not report any new cases in the last 24 hours. The 2 positive cases are on Day 12 in the Isolation facility and monitored by the health team in Levuka. Four other individuals in quarantine have been re-swabbed and awaiting test results. Internal repatriation to Ovalau has been put on hold for now.

Public Updates and Advice:

We have mentioned before that we expect that Sars CoV is expected to be endemic to Fiji. Our current positivity rate indicates an ongoing community transmission despite its downward trend. This indicates that:

  1. Despite our high vaccination rates, the need to adhere to COVID-safe measures is key to avoiding the need for severe restrictions and lockdowns and thus protecting our ongoing social and economic recovery.
  2. Whilst much has been said about quarantine and international travel, the biggest threat to Fiji’s recovery plan will be to control our ongoing epidemic through our ongoing COVID-safe discipline. Of particular importance is the need for good ventilation in all social and workplace indoor gatherings, ensuring that all age-eligible individuals in these gatherings are vaccinated, and proper mask-wearing.
  3. Children ineligible for vaccination, the elderly and all those with severe comorbidities will still need protection through the COVID -safe habits of care providers and others around them.