PRESS RELEASE

COVID-19 Update – 05-10-2021

Last Updated on 2 weeks by Publishing Team

Media Release

COVID-19 Daily Update

Tuesday 05th October 2021

Transmission Update

We have 49 new cases of COVID-19 to report for the 24 hour period that ended at 8 am today.

There have been 62 new recoveries to report since the last update, which means that there are now 8,871 active cases. There have been 51,203 cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021. We have recorded a total of 51,273 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020, with 41,251 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 four COVID-19 deaths to report for the period of 5th August 2021 to  3rd October 2021. All four COVID-19 deaths have been reported from the Central Division. The two deaths from August are being reported today due to a delay in the issuance of the official death certificate.

The first COVID-19 death to report is a 9-year-old child from Tailevu who died at home on 03/10/2021. His family reported that he had a history of cough and shortness of breath 2 weeks prior. He was not in the target population that is eligible to receive the vaccine. The Ministry of Health and Medical Services advises that we should all continue practicing strict COVID-19 safety measures to protect our vulnerable family members.

The second COVID-19 death to report is a 29-year-old woman from Suva who died at home on 07/09/2021. She received the first dose of the vaccine in early July and did not receive the second dose of the vaccine. This means that she was not fully vaccinated.

The third COVID-19 death to report is a 52-year-old woman from Suva who died at home on 09/08/2021. She was not vaccinated

The fourth COVID-19 death to report is a 67-year-old man from Suva. He presented to the CWM hospital on 04/08/2021 in severe respiratory distress. Sadly, he died one day after admission (05/08/2021). He was not vaccinated.

There have been 10 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 638 deaths due to COVID-19 in Fiji, with 636 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 30th, the national 7 days rolling average of COVID-19 deaths per day is 0.8. The 7 days rolling average for COVID-19 deaths per day in the Central Division is 0.1 and 0.7 in the Western Division.

We have also recorded 513 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 74 COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital. 40 patients are admitted at the Lautoka Hospital and 34 are admitted at CWM hospital, St Giles, and Makoi. 6 patients are considered to be in severe condition, and 6 are in critical condition.

Screening Update

A total of 16,075 individuals were screened and 455 swabbed at our stationary screening clinics in the last 24 hours, bringing our cumulative total to 722,423 individuals screened and 103,671 swabbed to date. Our mobile screening teams screened a total of 451 individuals over the last 24 hours. This brings our cumulative total to 852,251 individuals screened and 77,513 swabbed by our mobile teams.

Testing Update

A total of 374,120 samples have been tested since this outbreak started in April 2021, with 416,981 tested since testing began in March 2020. 1343 tests have been reported for October 4th, 2021. The 7-day daily test average is 1,044 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 5.4%, which is on a downward trend, but it still is indicating a high level of community transmission.

Vaccination Update

A total of 593,842 adults in Fiji have received their first dose of the vaccine and 470,867 have received their second doses. Based on our updated total population of 618,173 people aged 18 years and over (adults), the vaccination coverage rates are 96.1% for adults who have received at least one dose, and 76.2% 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, 21,062 children in Fiji have received their first dose of the vaccine as of 04/10/2021. We will be tracking our vaccine coverage rates once we have firmed up our 15 to 17-year-olds age group denominator.

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 57 cases per day or 65 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.

No new cases were reported on Malolo Island in the last 24 hours. Of the total of 89 cases, 70 have recovered, and 19 remain active. Daily monitoring continues for the active cases and their contacts. Investigations continue for the two new cases reported over the weekend in Yanuya village as to their source of infection. 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, 178 have recovered and 3 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, 5 new recoveries were totaling31 recoveries now with 20 cases remaining active and under daily monitoring by the health team. Vaccination of adults continues and the island remains on movement restriction.

No new cases were recorded in the Nacula Medical Area in the last 24 hours. Of the 168 cases in the medical area, 50 have recovered, and 118 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 case was recorded on Beqa Island in the last 24 hours. Of the 252 cases on the island, 199 cases have now been recovered and 52 cases remain active, of which 47 are on Beqa Island and 5 on Yanuca Island. The active cases and the 70 primary contacts are under home isolation and daily monitoring from the health team. Vaccination continues in Naceva, Naseuseu, Rukua, Raviravi and Yanuca. Movement restriction remains in force for Yanuca Island with discontinuation of travel from Yanuca Island to Viti Levu on day 8 of 14 days.

No new cases were recorded on Kadavu Island in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases to 586 cases. Of these, 557 cases have recovered and the remaining 29 active cases are under daily monitoring by the health team. Risk assessment revealed that 6 active cases are in the high-risk category and 23 in the low category. Six patients are currently admitted at Vunisea hospital, of which 2 are COVID positive and currently in stable condition, and 4 are negative for COVID-19. Vaccination continues by the Vunisea health teams and the Kavala health teams. Movement restrictions remain in force supervised by the Police team and the Vanua.

Ovalau Island did not report any new cases in the last 24 hours. Internal repatriation to Ovalau has been put on hold for now.

Public Updates and Advice:

Vaccination for Eligible Children

Vaccination of eligible children aged 15 to 17 years with the Moderna vaccine continues tomorrow Wednesday 06th October 2021 throughout the country at designated vaccination sites for children. Parents and guardians are encouraged to register their children on the Vaccination Registration System (VRS) before the vaccination. The vaccination sites for children can be obtained from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Facebook page as well as the Government Facebook page. Parental or guardian consent is mandatory before vaccination, and no vaccine will be administered to any child without the consent of the parent or guardian.

Vaccination for children aged 12 to 17 years is safe. Similar to adults, children can also experience the side effects of COVID-19 vaccination such as pain, swelling at the jab site, fever, and body aches. These symptoms should subside over a few days. Severe side effects are rare and the risk of getting a severe infection and succumbing to COVID-19 is still higher than the risk of adverse events from vaccination. Therefore, parents and guardians are encouraged to agree for their children to be vaccinated to protect them from COVID-19.

While the incidence and severity of the infection are lower in children, we have recorded severe disease in children in Fiji. Furthermore, children can carry and spread the infection to others. Apart from vaccination, children are also protected when adults around them are vaccinated and continue to practice COVID safe measures.