PRESS RELEASE

COVID-19 Update – 06-10-2021

Last Updated on 2 months by Publishing Team

Media Release

COVID-19 Daily Update

Wednesday 06th October 2021

Transmission Update

We have 55 new cases of COVID-19 to report for the 24 hour period that ended at 8 am today.

There have been 6,040 new recoveries to report since the last update, which means that there are now 2,864 active cases. There have been 51,258 cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021. We have recorded a total of 51,328 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020, with 47,291 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 nine COVID-19 deaths to report for the period of 17th July 2021 to the 3rd October 2021. Eight COVID-19 deaths have been reported from the Central Division and one death has been reported from the Western Division. Kindly note five deaths are being reported from July and 3 deaths are being reported from August today due to a delay in the issuance of the official death certificate.

The first COVID-19 death to report is a 49-year-old woman from Suva. She presented to the CWM Hospital in severe respiratory distress. Sadly, she died 10 days after admission on 19/08/21. She received the first dose of the vaccine in mid-June. She did not receive the second dose of the vaccine. This means that she was not fully vaccinated.

The second COVID-19 death to report is a 73-year-old woman from Suva. She presented to the CWM Hospital in severe respiratory distress. She died 6 days after admission on 17/07/21. She was not vaccinated.

The third COVID-19 death to report is a 42-year-old woman from Suva. She presented to the CWM Hospital in severe respiratory distress. She died 10 days after admission on 27/07/21.  She was not vaccinated.

The fourth COVID-19 death to report is a 59-year-old man from Suva. He presented to the CWM hospital in severe respiratory distress. Sadly, he died 7 days after admission on 26/07/2021. He was not vaccinated.

The fifth COVID 19 death to report is a 62-year-old man from Navua. He presented to the CWM Hospital Emergency Department in severe respiratory distress. Sadly, he died on the same day 22/09/21. He was not vaccinated.

The sixth COVID 19 death to report is a 74-year-old male from Suva.  He presented to the CWM Hospital in severe respiratory distress. He died 13 days after admission on 04/08/21. He was not vaccinated.

The seventh COVID19 death to report is a 55-year-old male from Suva. He presented to the CWM Hospital in severe respiratory distress.  He died 2 days after admission on 24/07/21. He was not vaccinated.

The eighth COVID 19 death to report is a 73-year-old woman of Suva. She presented to the CWM Hospital in severe respiratory distress. Sadly, she died one day after admission on 21/08/21. She was not vaccinated.

The ninth COVID 19 death to report is a 69-year-old man from Nadi. He presented to the Lautoka Hospital in severe respiratory distress. Sadly, he died one day after admission on 30/09/21. He was not vaccinated.

There have been 13 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 647 deaths due to COVID-19 in Fiji, with 645 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 October 1st, the national 7 days rolling average of COVID-19 deaths per day is 1.0. The 7 days rolling average for COVID-19 deaths per day in the Central Division is 0.6 and 0.4 in the Western Division.

We have also recorded 526 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 58 COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital. 34 patients are admitted at the Lautoka Hospital and 24 are admitted at CWM hospital, St Giles, and Makoi. 6 patients are considered to be in severe condition, and 3 are in critical condition.

Screening Update

A total of 8,406 individuals were screened and 490 swabbed at our stationary screening clinics in the last 24 hours, bringing our cumulative total to 730,829 individuals screened and 104,161 swabbed to date. Our mobile screening teams screened a total of 478 individuals and swabbed a total of 44 over the last 24 hours. This brings our cumulative total to 852,729 individuals screened and 77,557 swabbed by our mobile teams.

Testing Update

A total of 375,168 samples have been tested since this outbreak started in April 2021, with 418,029 tested since testing began in March 2020. 1048 tests have been reported for October 5th, 2021. The 7-day daily test average is 1,010 tests per day or 1.1 tests per 1,000 population. Weekly testing is at 7.5 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 5.3%, which is on a downward trend, but it still is indicating a high level of community transmission.

Vaccination Update

A total of 594,242 adults in Fiji have received their first dose of the vaccine and 478,535 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 77.4% 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, 22,130 children in Fiji have received their first dose of the vaccine as of 05/10/2021. 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 54 cases per day or 61 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.  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, there are 31 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, 225 cases have now been recovered and 26 cases remain active, of which 21 are on Beqa Island and 5 on Yanuca Island. The active cases and the 44 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 9 of 14 days.

One new case was recorded on Kadavu Island in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases to 587 cases. Of these, 557 cases have recovered and the remaining 30 active cases are under daily monitoring by the health team. Risk assessment revealed that 6 active cases are in the high-risk category and 24 in the low category. Three patients are currently admitted at Vunisea hospital, of which 2 are COVID positive and currently in stable condition, and 1 is 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:

Daily Statement

From next week, our MOHMS updates will be provided on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Furthermore, the report will be in the form of a dashboard and public advice will be provided as needed.

Local Repatriation Program

Our program for the safe local repatriation of Fiji Citizens to the Northern Division and Maritime continues and is contingent on high vaccination coverage and good community surveillance programs.

Social Gathering Protocols

Social gatherings including the house of worship gatherings have been recognized as avenues for high-level transmission of SARSCoV-2 ever since the beginning of this pandemic. The issues of contained space, crowding, and loud vocalization have contributed to facilitate high levels of transmission.  We have reviewed our house of worship protocols and we will be providing an update after a meeting with religious leaders tomorrow. We appeal to the public and community leaders to remain patient in the early days of implementing these protocols and to remain focused on the overall objective of creating COVID-safe conditions around all Social gatherings including the house of worship gatherings.

Vaccination for Eligible Children

Vaccination of eligible children aged 15 to 17 years with the Moderna vaccine continues tomorrow Thursday 07th 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.