PRESS RELEASE

COVID-19 Update – 14-08-2021

Last Updated on 4 months by Publishing Team

Media Release

COVID-19 Daily Update

Saturday, 14 August 2021

Transmission Update

We have 314 new cases of COVID-19 to report for the 24 hour period that ended at 8am today. 259 cases are from the Western Division, 54 cases are from the Central Division and 1 case from the Northern Division. A full breakdown of areas of interest will be published online tonight on the Ministry’s COVID-19 dashboard and on the Fijian Government Facebook page. You will also be able to view the approximate locations of new cases, active cases, and recovered cases on the dashboard at the following link: http://bit.ly/3vE2ZBb.

The case from the Northern Division is a person working at the Nabouwalu wharf. Investigations into how this person got infected are still in the very early stages. However, it appears the exposure to the virus happened onboard a ship unloading cargo from Suva earlier this week. This person tested positive during routine swabbing of wharf workers yesterday. The positive person has been securely moved to the Malau isolation facility and household members have been quarantined. So far, the person’s household members have tested negative for the virus.

With the help of the careFIJI app the Ministry’s COVID-19 response team in the Northern Division have identified other primary contacts, including workplace contacts, and they have been quarantined, with test results pending. The team are continuing to trace other people that the person may have come into contact with during the infectious period. The Ministry wishes to assure the people of the North that our health team is working very closely with other local agencies and communities to prevent any further spread of the virus. The Permanent Secretary will be briefed by the Northern team on the progress of investigations and the response tomorrow, and decisions will be made about any further measures that may be required to quickly halt transmission.

There have been 987 new recoveries reported since the last update, which means that there are now 23,598 active cases. 17,269 active cases are in the Central Division, 6328 active cases in the Western Division and 1 active case in the Northern Division.

There have been 39,700 cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021. We have recorded a total of 39,770 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020, with 15,610 recoveries.

Deaths

We have 8 new COVID-19 deaths to report for the period of August 11th-14th.  All deaths were reported from the Central Division.

The first COVID-19 death to report is a 64 year old man from Suva. He presented to the CWMH hospital in severe respiratory distress. He died five days after admission (13/08/2021). He was not vaccinated.

The second COVID-19 death to report is an 85 year old man from Naitasiri who died at home on the 14/08/2021. He was not vaccinated.

The third COVID-19 death to report is a 63 year old man from Naitasiri who died at home on the 13/08/2021. His family reported that he had a cough and fever for two weeks prior to his presentation. 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.

The fourth COVID-19 death to report is a 76 year old man from Naitasiri. He was declared dead on arrival by the attending medical officer at the Naqali Health Centre on the 12/08/2021. This means that he died at home or on his way to the health centre. He was not vaccinated.

The fifth COVID-19 death to report is a 56 year old man from Lami who died at home on the 13/08/2021. He received the first dose of the vaccine in mid-July. He did not receive the second dose of the vaccine. This means that he was not fully vaccinated.

The sixth COVID-19 death to report is a 77 year old man from Nausori who died at home on the 11/08/2021. His family reported that he had generalized body weakness and a cough for one week prior. He was not vaccinated.

The seventh COVID-19 death to report is a 66 year old man from Caubati. He presented to the CWMH hospital in severe respiratory distress. He died eight days after admission (14/08/2021). He was not vaccinated.

The eighth COVID-19 death to report is a 40 year old man from Nakasi. He presented to the CWMH hospital in severe respiratory distress. He died sixteen days after admission (13/08/2021). He received the first dose of the vaccine in early June. He did not receive the second dose of the vaccine. This means that he was not fully vaccinated.

There have been 2 more deaths of COVID-19 positive patients. However, these deaths have been classified as non-COVID deaths by their doctors. Doctors have determined that their deaths were caused by serious pre-existing medical conditions and not COVID-19.

With today’s newly reported deaths, there have now been 368 deaths due to COVID-19 in Fiji, with 366 of these deaths during the outbreak that started in April this year. The national 7 day rolling average of COVID-19 deaths per day is 9.  We also have recorded 194 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 274 COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital. 70 patients are admitted to the Lautoka Hospital, 56 patients are admitted at the FEMAT field hospital, and 148 admitted at CWM hospital, St Giles, and Makoi. 66 patients are considered to be in severe condition, and 8 are in critical condition.

Screening Update

A total of 4,914 individuals were screened and 612 swabbed at our stationary screening clinics in the last 24 hours, bringing our cumulative total to 453,884 individuals screened and 79,115 swabbed to date. As of the 13th August our mobile screening teams screened a total of 1,738 individuals and swabbed 247. This brings our cumulative total to 790,300 individuals screened and 69,850 swabbed by our mobile teams.

Testing update

A total of 305,870 samples have been tested since this outbreak started in April 2021, with 348,731 tested since testing began in March 2020. 1578 tests have been reported for August 13th. Testing data for some labs are still being received and so the testing number is expected to increase once updated. The 7-day daily test average is 1529 tests per day or 1.7 tests per 1,000 population. The national 7-day average daily test positivity is 33.3%.

Vaccination Update

As of the 12th August 531,546 adults in Fiji have received their first dose of the vaccine and 206,670 have received their second doses. This means that 90.6% of the target population have received at least one dose and 35.2% are now fully vaccinated nationwide.

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 493 cases per day or 557 cases per million population per day. We have noted a drop in cases reported per day recently. However, our daily testing numbers have also been dropping around the same time, due to the change in testing policy in Suva-Nausori. As announced on July 21st by the Permanent Secretary, only persons that have a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 are being targeted for testing in Suva-Nausori. This was done so that resources could be targeted to early detection, monitoring and care of persons with COVID-19 who are at higher risk of severe disease, to prevent more people succumbing to severe disease and death.

We are likely seeing the effect of this testing policy change now in Suva-Nausori with the drop in daily reported cases. This does not mean that the outbreak is on a downward trend in the Suva-Nausori community. As previously announced by the Permanent Secretary, daily case numbers in Suva-Nausori are currently not being used as an indicator to monitor progress of the outbreak in Suva-Nausori. The Ministry is closely monitoring other indicators such as test positivity, hospitalisations and deaths to track the progress of the outbreak in Suva-Nausori. Test positivity in Suva-Nausori was between 40-50% before the change in testing policy and has remained at this high level, which is above the national average. This is one indicator of the continuing high level of community transmission in this area.

Testing levels in the Western Division remain consistently high with 3.8-4 tests per 1000 population per day at a 7 day average. We are seeing increasing cases reported in the Western Division with evidence of widespread community transmission in that division.  We are also noting an increasing trend of deaths in the Western Division.

The Northern Division has 1 active case, and the Eastern Division currently has no active cases.

Advice to the public

People with severe COVID-19 are still dying at home, or they are coming to a medical facility in the late stages of severe illness. We are now seeing this happening in the Western Division as deaths are increasing in that division.

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-coloured 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.

The public in the North are being reminded that although the case discussed in this statement was identified in Nabouwalu, it is important the members of the public throughout Vanualevu listen to advice and continue to practice COVID-19 safety measures.

The public is requested to practice COVID-19 safety measures of wearing a mask when leaving your home, wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser, practice safe physical distancing of 2m, ensure that the careFIJI app is downloaded on your phone and enabled and remember to get vaccinated. “