PRESS RELEASE

COVID-19 Update – 08-09-2021

Last Updated on 2 weeks by Publishing Team

Media Release

COVID-19 Daily Update

Wednesday, 08th September 2021 

Transmission Update

We have 240 new cases of COVID-19 to report for the 24 hour period that ended at 8 am today. 49 cases are from the Western Division, 32 cases are from the Central Division and 159 cases are from the Eastern Division.

There are 159 new COVID-19 positive cases in Kadavu and 4 new cases in Malolo Island. All these individuals have been isolated.

There have been 747 new recoveries to report since the last update, which means that there are now 13,597 active cases. 2,516 active cases are in the Central Division, 10,793 active cases in the Western Division, 4 active cases in the Northern Division (Macuata), and 284 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 48,323 cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021. We have recorded a total of 48,393 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020, with 33,915 recoveries.

Deaths

There are three new COVID-19 deaths to report for the period of 30th August – 07th  September 2021. All three deaths were reported from the Central Division.

The first COVID-19 death to report today is a 4-month-old infant from Suva. He presented to a health center in mild respiratory distress (01/09/2021). He was medically assessed and stabilized by the attending medical officer and was then transferred to the CWM Hospital for specialist care (01/09/2021). As per protocol upon admission, he was tested for COVID-19 and was noted to be positive (01/09/2021). His mother reported that he had a cough and was noted to be irritable two days before their presentation on (30/08/2021) and developed a fever on the night before his presentation (31/08/2021). Sadly, he died five days after admission on 06/09/2021 He was not vaccinated as he was not in the current target population of people 18 years and over that are eligible to receive the vaccine.

The second COVID-19 death to report today is a 66-year-old man from Naitasiri who died at home on 07/09/2021. He received the first dose of the vaccine in mid-June. He did not receive the second dose of the vaccine. This means that he was not fully vaccinated.

The third COVID-19 death to report today is a 76-year-old man from Naitasiri. He presented to the Vunidawa Hospital in severe respiratory distress. Sadly, he died on the same day (30/08/2021). He received the first dose of the vaccine in early July. He did not receive the second dose of the vaccine. This means that he was not fully vaccinated.

There have been 8 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 528 deaths due to COVID-19 in Fiji, with 526 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, to help ensure the data collected is complete before the average is reported. Therefore, as of September 3rd, the national 7 day rolling average of COVID-19 deaths per day is 4. The 7 day rolling average for COVID-19 deaths per day in the Central Division is 1 and in the Western Division is 3.

We also have recorded 353 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 169 COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital. 80 patients are admitted at the Lautoka Hospital, 12 patients are admitted at the FEMAT field hospital, and 77 are admitted at CWM hospital, St Giles, and Makoi. 20 patients are considered to be in severe condition, and 7 are in critical condition.

Screening Update

A total of 1,382 individuals were screened and 238 swabbed at our stationary screening clinics in the last 24 hours, bringing our cumulative total to 549,605 individuals screened and 91,998 swabbed to date. Our mobile screening teams screened a total of 897 individuals and swabbed 93. This brings our cumulative total to 823,151 individuals screened and 73,303 swabbed by our mobile teams.

Testing Update

A total of 342,206 samples have been tested since this outbreak started in April 2021, with 385,067 tested since testing began in March 2020. 707 tests have been reported for September 7th. The 7-day daily test average is 1,256 tests per day or 1.4 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 17.2%, which is on a downward trend but still indicating a high level of community transmission.

Vaccination Update 

As of the 07th September, 568,676 adults in Fiji have received their first dose of the vaccine and 308,258 have received their second doses. This means that 96.9% of the target population have received at least one dose and 52.9% 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%. Over the next few days, we will start to correct and update the total eligible population for our current vaccination program as updated data is received from our vaccination campaign frontline team.

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 198 cases per day or 224 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, hospitalisations, 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.

There have been no new COVID-19 cases identified in the Namara Tiri settlement in Labasa over the last 24 hours, and the 4 active cases remain under observation and daily assessment. Movement restriction remains in force for the containment zone and the whole of Labasa town. The greater challenge now for the Northern Division is to ensure it is ready for the repatriation of approximately 6000 persons who wish to return home. The Ministry of Health and Medical Services along with medical teams in the Northern Division is currently in the process of developing a safe repatriation pathway through outbreak readiness plans and quarantine facility preparedness. We would like to acknowledge that to ensure a safe repatriation pathway is achieved the community engagement in the Northern Division is pivotal. The medical teams from the Northern Division who were deployed to the Western and Central Divisions are now in the process of returning, we encourage them to get their well-deserved rest and encourage them to be ready to provide both medical support and assist in quarantine preparedness.

An intermediate team will visit Yalobi Nursing Station on Waya island to assist the health team in conducting screening and testing for the villages and settlements on the island over the next few days.

No new cases have been identified on Naviti island and daily surveillance continues for the positive cases and their contacts in the villages. Movement restriction is also 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 hospital admission – 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.