PRESS RELEASE

COVID-19 Update 10-12-2021

Last Updated on 7 months by Publishing Team

COVID-19 Situation Update

Friday 10th December

Transmission Update:

Since the last update, we have recorded a total of 10 new cases; of which 5 new cases were recorded on 09/12/2021, and 5 new cases in the last 24 hours ending at 8 am this morning.

This epidemic curve depicts the daily positive cases since the 2nd wave of this outbreak that began in April 2021. Overall for this 2nd wave, there have been 52,507 cases recorded, with 71% of the cases from the Central Division, 28% of the cases from the Western Division, and 1% of the cases from the Eastern and Northern Divisions.

Our National 7- day rolling average is 6 daily cases calculated for 6th December 2021.

Deaths:

This curve depicts the daily death count by division since the 2nd wave of this outbreak that began in April 2021. Overall, the death rate graphs for the Central and Western Divisions indicate a declining trend. The differences between the Central and Western are similar to the incidence of the daily cases and are likely a reflection of vaccination levels, COVID mitigation measures, and differences in population density.

There is no COVID-19 death to report.

There have been a total of 697 deaths due to COVID-19 in Fiji, with 695 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 December 5th, the national 7 days rolling average for COVID-19 deaths per day is 0.0, with a case fatality rate of 1.32%.

We have recorded 609 COVID-19 positive patients who died from serious medical conditions they had before they contracted COVID-19; these are not classified as COVID-19 deaths.

Epidemic Outlook:

The Ministry of Health continues to monitor the outbreak using indicators such as daily case numbers, hospitalizations, test positivity, and deaths.

Occupancy rates in health facilities, the occupancy rate of ICU beds, death rates, and vaccination coverage are indicators to monitor our health response capacity and we see a decreasing trend across indicators from our health facilities with increasing vaccination coverage for adults and 15-17-year-olds in Fiji. With the commencement of vaccination for 12-14-year-olds, we expect their coverage to contribute to reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death.

With international travel open, we anticipate our testing numbers to increase from international repatriates and travelers including Fijians visiting families and friends. With increasing COVID-19 cases in the European region and the emergence of the new variant Omicron, our border health measures, and surveillance will need to be strengthened and maintained. We anticipate continued surveillance and testing in our communities and maritime islands to monitor and detect cases for early intervention.

Public Advisory:

We are aware of misinformation being peddled widely on Social Media, and we reiterated that the evidence on Omicron variant’s impact on the transmissibility of the virus, severity of disease, and effect of prior immunity (from vaccination or infection) is still in the very early stages, so conclusions cannot be made yet. However, preliminary evidence indicates that it does not make people sicker than the Delta and other strains. If anything, the direction is towards less severity.  We again emphasize that this data is very early and more will be known in the coming days and weeks.

Furthermore, this variant may be more transmissible than the Delta variant and it may cause reinfection in people who have been previously infected with another variant. The Omicron variant has been seen to infect people who are fully vaccinated – although, so far, the fully vaccinated cases have been generally mild or with no symptoms.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Service is working with COVID safe spotters from other government agencies to escalate the fining of individuals and corporate bodies exhibiting non-compliance to COVID safe measures. These spot fines must be seen as a means to promote COVID safe measures; as such, it is NOT the intention that every single transgression will be picked up and fined. Any large resurgence in cases, whether caused by the Delta variant or Omicron variant, is likely to undermine our social and economic recovery program. We now need to maintain our COVID guard and ensure we protect ourselves at all times.

Another reason for the extensive community-wide adoption and practice of COVID safe measures is that we need to create a safe environment for our children to return to school. We have started vaccinating our children aged 12 years and upwards and will continue our school vaccination program for all vaccine-preventable diseases when school starts. Improving vaccination in older children and all adults in the school environment provides extra protection to children less than 12 years. And further protection is achieved by facilitating COVID safe measures in the school, and with better compliance to COVID safe measures in the community especially with regards to social gatherings. We acknowledge our children who have stepped forward to get vaccinated, and again encourage parents to agree to the vaccination of their children who are in the age group 12 years old and over.