PRESS RELEASE

COVID-19 Update – 16-08-2021

Last Updated on 1 month by Publishing Team

Media Release

COVID-19 Daily Update

Monday, 16 August 2021

Transmission Update

We have 350 new cases of COVID-19 to report for the 24 hour period that ended at 8am today. 242 cases are from the Western Division and 108 cases are from the Central Division. A full breakdown of areas of interest will be published online tonight on the Ministry’s COVID-19 dashboard. 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.

As an update to the case in Nabouwalu in the Northern Division reported in previous updates: contact tracing has identified 33 primary contacts and 70 secondary contacts of the case. All contacts have tested negative for COVID-19 so far and remain under quarantine. As a precaution an area of restricted movement will be initiated from 12 midnight tonight within Nabouwalu for the next 14 days. The containment area will extend from Raralevu-i-Cake to Wainisevu and along the coast of Nabouwalu Village. The two checkpoints maintained in the containment will be checkpoint one opposite the Nabouwalu market controlling movement into the main road that runs into the containment area and checkpoint two at Raralevu-I-cake past Nabouwalu village towards Wainunu.

The objectives of this containment zone protocol is to facilitate heightened Community Surveillance, conduct more contacts tracing, escalate our COVID Safe community engagement program and to implement a program to increase vaccination coverage in targeted areas throughout the Nabouwalu containment zone. Movement into and out of the containment area will be restricted to facilitate essential service provision and access to groceries and post office services. The office of the Provincial Administrator and Subdivisional Medical Teams have been carrying out community awareness on other specific movement restriction protocols and will continue this awareness exercise throughout the day tomorrow.  For health services, the Northern health team is setting up clinic sites at the Solevu Immaculate Conception Junior Secondary School, the Bua Nursing Station, and the Lekutu Health Centre to cater for the health needs of those living outside the containment area. Nabouwalu hospital will be used by the health teams for emergency care only.

There have been 1,650 new recoveries reported since the last update, which means that there are now 22,494 active cases. 15,692 active cases are in the Central Division, 6,801 active cases in the Western Division and 1 active case in the Northern Division. We are currently reviewing and reconciling our active case database with recoveries and as a result we expect the recovery numbers to increase in the coming weeks.

There have been 40,517 cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021. We have recorded a total of 40,587 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020, with 17,491 recoveries.

Deaths

We have 23 new COVID-19 deaths to report for the period of August 11th-15th. 20 deaths were reported from the Western Division and 3 deaths were reported from the Central Division.

The first COVID-19 death to report is a 66 year old woman from Suva who died at home on the 15/08/2021. She received the 1st dose of the vaccine in late-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 52 year old woman from Sigatoka. She was declared dead on arrival by the attending medical officer at the Sigatoka Sub-Divisional Hospital. This means that she died on her way to the hospital or at home (11/08/2021). She was not vaccinated.

The third COVID-19 death to report is an 81 year old man from Ba. He presented to the Ba Mission Hospital in severe respiratory distress. He died on the same day (13/08/2021). He was not vaccinated.

The fourth COVID-19 death to report is a 73 year old man from Lautoka. He presented to the Lautoka Hospital in severe respiratory distress. He died two days after admission (13/08/2021). He received the 1st dose of the vaccine in late-July. He did not receive the second dose of the vaccine. This means that he was not fully vaccinated.

The fifth COVID-19 death to report is a 62 year old man from Lautoka. He presented to the Lautoka Hospital in severe respiratory distress. He died four days after admission (12/08/2021). He received the 1st dose of the vaccine in early-May. 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 an 85 year old woman from Ba. She presented to the Ba Mission Hospital in severe respiratory distress. She was transferred from the Ba Mission Hospital to the Lautoka Hospital. She died two days after admission (13/08/2021). She received the 1st dose of the vaccine in late-July. She did not receive the second dose of the vaccine. This means that she was not fully vaccinated.

The seventh COVID-19 death to report is a 77 year old woman from Lautoka. She was declared dead on arrival by the attending medical officer at the Lautoka Hospital Emergency Department. This means that she died on her way to the hospital or at home (12/08/2021). She received the 1st dose of the vaccine in late-July. She did not receive the second dose of the vaccine. This means that she was not fully vaccinated.

The eighth COVID-19 death to report is a 63 year old woman from Lautoka. She presented to the Lautoka Hospital in severe respiratory distress. She died one day after admission on the 13/08/2021. She received the 1st dose of the vaccine in early-August. She did not receive the second dose of the vaccine. This means that she was not fully vaccinated.

The ninth COVID-19 death to report is a 78 year old man from Lautoka. He was declared dead on arrival by the attending medical officer at the Lautoka Hospital Emergency Department. This means that he died on his way to the hospital or at home (13/08/2021). He was not vaccinated.

The tenth COVID-19 death to report is a 59 year old woman from Ba. She presented to the Ba Mission Hospital in severe respiratory distress. She died two days after her admission (15/08/2021). She received her 1st dose of the vaccine in early-June. She did not receive the second dose of the vaccine. This means that she was not fully vaccinated.

The eleventh COVID-19 death to report is a 75 year old man from Tavua. He presented to the Tavua Hospital in severe respiratory distress. He died sixteen days after his admission (14/08/2021). He was not vaccinated.

The twelfth COVID-19 death to report is an 86 year old man from Tavua. He was declared dead on arrival by the attending medical officer at the Tavua Hospital. This means that he died on his way to the hospital or at home (13/08/2021). He was not vaccinated.

The thirteenth COVID-19 death to report is a 77 year old woman from Nadi. She was declared dead on arrival by the attending medical officer at the Nadi Hospital. This means that she died on her way to the hospital or at home (13/08/2021). She was not vaccinated.

The fourteenth COVID-19 death to report is an 84 year old man from Sigatoka. He presented to the Sigatoka Hospital in severe respiratory distress. He died five days after admission (14/08/2021). He received the first dose of the vaccine in late-July. He did not receive the second dose of the vaccine.This means that he was not fully vaccinated.

The fifteenth COVID-19 death to report is a 79 year old man from Sigatoka. He presented to the Sigatoka Hospital in severe respiratory distress. He died five days after admission (15/08/2021). He was not vaccinated.

The sixteenth COVID-19 death to report is an 81 year old man from Sigatoka. He was declared dead on arrival by the attending medical officer at the Sigatoka Hospital. This means that he died on his way to the hospital or at home (14/08/2021). He received the first dose of the vaccine in late-July. He did not receive the second dose of the vaccine. This means that he was not fully vaccinated.

The seventeenth COVID-19 death to report is a 62 year old man from Sigatoka. He was declared dead on arrival by the attending medical officer at the Sigatoka Hospital. This means that he died on his way to the hospital or at home (14/08/2021). 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 eighteenth COVID-19 death to report is a 46 year old woman from Sigatoka. She was declared dead on arrival by the attending medical officer at the Sigatoka Hospital. This means that she died on her way to the hospital or at home (14/08/2021). She was not vaccinated.

The nineteenth COVID-19 death to report is a 43 year old man from Nadi. He presented to the Nadi Hospital in severe respiratory distress. He died on the same day (15/08/2021). He received the 1st dose of the vaccine in late-June. He did not receive the second dose of the vaccine. This means that he was not fully vaccinated.

The twentieth COVID-19 death to report is a 70 year old woman from Tacirua who died at home on the 14/08/2021. She was not vaccinated.

The twenty-first COVID-19 death to report is a 56 year old man from Tailevu who died at home on the 13/08/2021. He was not vaccinated.

The twenty-second COVID-19 death to report is a 65 year old man from Ba who died at home on the 13/08/2021. He was not vaccinated.

The twenty-third COVID-19 death to report is a 74 year old man from Nadi who died at home on the 12/08/2021. He was not vaccinated.

With today’s newly reported deaths, there have now been 394 deaths due to COVID-19 in Fiji, with 392 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 8. The 7 day rolling average of COVID-19 deaths in the Central Division is 5 and in the Western Division is 3.  We also have recorded 208 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 309 COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital. 118 patients are admitted to the Lautoka Hospital, 49 patients are admitted at the FEMAT field hospital, and 142 admitted at CWM hospital, St Giles, and Makoi. 38 patients are considered to be in severe condition, and 15 are in critical condition.

Screening Update

A total of 652 individuals were screened and 179 swabbed at our stationary screening clinics in the last 24 hours, bringing our cumulative total to 456,883 individuals screened and 79,508 swabbed to date. As of the 15th August our mobile screening teams screened a total of 41 individuals and swabbed 7. This brings our cumulative total to 790,410 individuals screened and 69,932 swabbed by our mobile teams.

Testing update

A total of 308,570 samples have been tested since this outbreak started in April 2021, with 351, 431 tested since testing began in March 2020. 848 tests have been reported for August 15th. The 7-day daily test average is 1538 tests per day or 1.7 tests per 1,000 population. The national 7-day average daily test positivity is 29.1%.

Vaccination Update

As of the 15th August 533,705 adults in Fiji have received their first dose of the vaccine and 211,496 have received their second doses. This means that 91% of the target population have received at least one dose and 36.1% are now fully vaccinated nationwide. We are currently doing a mop up exercise of our first dose campaign, which will allow us to specifically target specific communities with low coverage, and subsequently also correct and update the total eligible population for our current vaccination program.

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 429 cases per day or 485 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.

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 with one active case identified in Nabouwalu, it is important that people throughout Vanua Levu 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”.