PRESS RELEASE

COVID-19 Update – 07-10-2021

Last Updated on 2 months by Publishing Team

Media Release

COVID-19 Daily Update

Thursday 07th October 2021

Transmission Update

We have 58 new cases of COVID-19 to report for the 24 hour period that ended at 8 am today.

There have been 24 new recoveries to report since the last update, which means that there are now 2,895 active cases. There have been 51,316 cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021. We have recorded a total of 51,386 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020, with 47,315 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 two COVID-19 deaths to report for the period of 15th July 2021 to 1st October 2021. Both of the COVID-19 deaths have been reported from the Central Division. Kindly note one death is being reported from July today due to a delay in the issuance of the official death certificate.

The first COVID-19 death to report is a 70-year-old man from Suva who died at home on 15/07/21. He was not vaccinated

The second COVID-19 death to report is a 65-year-old woman from Suva who died at home on 01/10/21. She was not vaccinated

There has been one more death of a COVID-19 positive patient. However, this death has been classified as non-COVID death by the doctors. The doctors have determined that this death was caused by a serious pre-existing medical condition and not COVID-19.

There have now been 649 deaths due to COVID-19 in Fiji, with 647 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 2nd, the national 7 days rolling average of COVID-19 deaths per day is 1.3. The 7 days rolling average for COVID-19 deaths per day in the Central Division is 0.7 and 0.6 in the Western Division.

We have also recorded 527 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 63 COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital. 31 patients are admitted at the Lautoka Hospital and 32 are admitted at CWM hospital, St Giles, and Makoi. 2 patients are considered to be in severe condition, and 4 are in critical condition.

Screening Update

A total of 6,092 individuals were screened and 391 swabbed at our stationary screening clinics in the last 24 hours, bringing our cumulative total to 736,921 individuals screened and 104,552 swabbed to date. Our mobile screening teams screened a total of 2,894 individuals and swabbed a total of 40 over the last 24 hours. This brings our cumulative total to 855,623 individuals screened and 77,597 swabbed by our mobile teams.

Testing Update

A total of 376,153 samples have been tested since this outbreak started in April 2021, with 419,014 tested since testing began in March 2020. 985 tests have been reported for October 6th, 2021. The 7-day daily test average is 996 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 5.2%, which is on a downward trend, but it still is indicating a high level of community transmission.

Vaccination Update

A total of 594,542 adults in Fiji have received their first dose of the vaccine and 484,195  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 96.2% for adults who have received at least one dose, and 78.3% 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, 23,029 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 52 cases per day or 59 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. 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 10  of 14 days.

No 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. 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.

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.

Adjusting Our Quarantine Protocols

Our quarantine protocols to support local repatriation and international travel will be adjusted to take into account the increasing protection gained by having fully vaccinated persons traveling with other vaccinated persons to highly vaccinated destinations. This will involve less stringent conditions with more priority given to the testing protocols that ensure early identification and isolation of positive travelers.

Social Gathering Protocols

Social gatherings including the house of worship gatherings have been recognized as avenues for high-level transmission of SARS-CoV-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 today. 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 till Friday 08th 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.