PRESS RELEASE

COVID-19 Update – 02-09-2021

Last Updated on 3 months by Publishing Team

Media Release

COVID-19 Daily Update

Friday, 02nd September 2021

Transmission Update

We have 250 new cases of COVID-19 to report for the 24 hour period that ended at 8 am today. 186 cases are from the Western Division, 51 cases are from the Central Division and 13 cases are from the Eastern Division. A full breakdown of areas of interest will be published online tonight on the Ministry’s COVID-19 dashboard. You will also be able to view the approximate locations of new cases, active cases, and recovered cases on the dashboard at the following link: http://bit.ly/3vE2ZBb

There are 13 new COVID-19 positive cases in Kadavu. This means there are now 270 active cases of COVID-19 in Kadavu. All these individuals have been isolated.

There have been 1,102 new recoveries to report since the last update, which means that there are now 16,267 active cases.5130 active cases are in the Central Division, 10,862 active cases in the Western Division, 5 active cases in the Northern Division (Nabouwalu and Macuata), and 270 active cases in the Eastern Division (all in Kadavu). We are currently reviewing and reconciling our active case database with recoveries and as a result, we expect the recovery numbers to intermittently change markedly as verifications are made.

There have been 47,186 cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021. We have recorded a total of 47,256 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020, with 30,169 recoveries.

Deaths

We have 1 new COVID-19 death to report today.

The COVID-19 death report is a 71-year-old woman from Nausori. She presented to the CWM hospital in severe respiratory distress.  Sadly, she died 1 day after admission (01/09/2021). She was not vaccinated.

There have been 4 more 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 505 deaths due to COVID-19 in Fiji, with 503 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 day rolling average of deaths, based on the date of death, in order to help ensure the data collected is complete before the average is reported. Therefore, as of August 28th, the national 7 day rolling average of COVID-19 deaths per day is 5. The 7 day rolling average for COVID-19 deaths per day in the Central Division is 1 and in the Western Division is 4.

We also have recorded 315 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.

Hospitalizations

As of the 01st September 2021: There are currently 241 COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital. 106 patients are admitted at the Lautoka Hospital, 18 patients are admitted at the FEMAT field hospital, and 117 admitted at CWM hospital, St Giles, and Makoi. 15 patients are considered to be in severe condition, and 14 are in critical condition.

Screening Update

A total of 5,308 individuals were screened and 661 swabbed at our stationary screening clinics in the last 24 hours, bringing our cumulative total to 518,681 individuals screened and 89,437 swabbed to date. As of the 01st of September, our mobile screening teams screened a total of 1564 individuals and swabbed 163. This brings our cumulative total to 814,103 individuals screened and 72,158 swabbed by our mobile teams.

Testing Update

A total of 335,056 samples have been tested since this outbreak started in April 2021, with 377,917 tested since testing began in March 2020. 1645 tests have been reported for September 1st. Lab testing data for one lab is still being received. Lab testing data is expected to increase. The 7-day daily test average is 1387 tests per day or 1.6 tests per 1,000 population. Weekly testing is at 10.7 tests per 1000 population, which remains above the WHO recommended level of 4 per 1000 population per week. The national 7-day average daily test positivity is 22.4%, which is on a downward trend but still indicating a high level of community transmission.

Vaccination Update 

As of the 01st September, 560,940 adults in Fiji have received their first dose of the vaccine and 278,131 have received their second doses. This means that 96% of the target population have received at least one dose and 48.4% are now fully vaccinated nationwide. As previously mentioned we are currently doing a mop-up exercise of our first dose campaign, which will allow us to specifically target communities with low coverage, and relook at certain subdivisions that are generating coverage rates beyond 100%. This will allow us to correct and update the total eligible population for our current vaccination program.

Fijians can check the Ministry’s vaccine dashboard to find real-time data on first-dose and second-dose numbers at the national, divisional, and sub-divisional levels. You can access the live dashboard at http://bit.ly/3h2JfCZ

Epidemic Outlook

The 7-day average of new cases per day is 298 cases per day or 337 cases per million population per day. As previously announced by the Permanent Secretary, daily case numbers in Suva-Nausori 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, hospitalizations, and deaths to track the progress of the outbreak.

With the decrease in testing numbers, testing remains above the WHO recommended rate of 4 per 1000 population per week (or approx. 3500 tests per week). We will be transitioning to community surveillance testing as severe disease numbers and positivity rates approach the containment phase levels.

Screening and testing continue in the Namara Tiri containment zone with no new cases identified in the last 24 hours.  Movement restrictions remain in force in the containment zone as well as for the whole of Labasa town.

The health team at Kadavu with the support of the community engagement team are continuing their work in accessing all villages and communities. New cases continue to be diagnosed over the last 24 hours. Rapid diagnostic tests are being used also in Kadavu and as such, the total number of cases under follow-up in Kadavu is 273; 3 more than what is confirmed from Fiji CDC Data alluded to above. Of these 142 cases have recovered from the disease, and 131 active cases remain under isolation. The health risk assessment done on the active cases show that 83 cases were considered low risk, while 48 cases were in the moderate and high-risk categories, and are under close observation by the health team. Given the clear evidence of community transmission on the island, we anticipate that the number of cases will escalate further together with the risk of severe disease and death.

Surveillance and testing continue at Vunibaka settlement and Solevu village and movement restrictions remain in force for the whole island. 2 new cases were identified in Solevu village bringing a total of 32 active cases on the island. A 54-year-old male was airlifted to Lautoka Hospital yesterday afternoon and assessed to have severe COVID. he is currently in stable condition.

In one new case, a 43 years old female was diagnosed in Kese village, Naviti in the last 24 hours. Investigations suggest that the case is linked to the cases in Somosomo village. An intermediate team visited Gunu village today for further assessment and testing. Movement restrictions remain in force for all villages on the island.

Advice to the public

Severe COVID-19

People with severe COVID-19 are still dying at home, or are coming to a medical facility in the late stages of severe illness. As mentioned by the Permanent Secretary today: 78% of COVID-19 deaths during this outbreak occurred at home, or on the way to the hospital, or within 2 days of admission to the hospital – giving no or little opportunity for our clinical teams to provide potentially life-saving treatment.

Severe COVID-19 is a medical emergency, and a delay in receiving appropriate medical treatment reduces your chance of recovering from the disease. You are at higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 if you are over the age of 50 or have a non-communicable disease or chronic disease like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, kidney disease, or if you are obese or pregnant.

If you are at high risk of severe disease and have any symptoms of COVID-19 such as a cough, runny nose, fever, sore throat, body ache, headache, loss of taste/smell – please come to your nearest screening clinic to be checked and tested by our medical teams.

We need also need all Fijians to know the severe symptoms of COVID-19, which include the following:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • Severe headache for a few days
  • New confusion, inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds

In Suva-Nausori we have identified health facilities specifically designated to receive people with symptoms of severe COVID-19. If you or a loved one live in Suva-Nausori and have any of these severe symptoms please go immediately to the designated health facilities listed below.

  • Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH)
  • FEMAT Hospital, Vodafone Arena

Individuals in Nausori with severe symptoms should go to:

  • Nausori Health Centre
  • Wainibokasi Hospital

In the Western Division, please go to your nearest healthcare facility if you have any symptoms of COVID-19.

Call 165 if you are unable to travel to a medical facility. 

The public in the North is being reminded that it is important that people throughout Vanua Levu listen to advice and continue to practice COVID-19 safety measures. While all the cases in the North are related to operations on the Nabouwalu jetty, and we have lifted restrictions in Nabouwalu,  the investigations are ongoing as regards the last 3 cases from the Namara Tiri Settlement near the township of Labasa. Furthermore, whilst border health measures at all ports have been strengthened, there will always be the risk of viral leakage into the community.  In this instance, vaccination with widespread covid safe measures remains the mainstay in preventing escalated community spread.

To our maritime islanders, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services reiterates its call not to engage in unauthorized travel to and from Viti Levu. All our current protocols to regulate domestic movements have been working in removing the risk of viral leakage into your communities. As such we appeal for adherence to the protocols we have in place. Furthermore, we repeat our call to all village leaders and elders to support our current efforts to protect our maritime islands by immediately reporting any suspicious movements into your community and having in place quarantine/isolation measures to deal with all travelers into their respective communities. We also appeal for community support for Vaccination; escalating vaccination efforts in the middle of an epidemic is a difficult exercise so we are appealing for timely cooperation.

For the rest of Fiji, the public is requested to persist in the practice of COVID-19 safety measures of wearing a mask when leaving your home, washing your hands regularly with soap and water or using a hand sanitizer, practicing safe physical distancing of 2m, ensuring that the careFIJI app is downloaded on your phone and enabled and last but not least REMEMBER TO GET VACCINATED.