PRESS RELEASE

COVID-19 Update – 16-09-2021

Last Updated on 3 months by Publishing Team

Media Release

COVID-19 Daily Update

Thursday, 16th September 2021 

Transmission Update

We have 197 new cases of COVID-19 to report for the 24 hour period that ended at 8 am today. 93 cases are from the Western Division, 98 cases are from the Central Division and 6 cases are from the Eastern Division.

There have been 81 new recoveries to report since the last update, which means that there are now 12,978 active cases. 1,343 active cases are in the Central Division, 11,314 active cases in the Western Division, 1 active case in the Northern Division (Macuata), and 320 active cases in the Eastern Division (all in Kadavu).

There have been 49,517 cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021. We have recorded a total of 49,587 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020, with 35,686 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

There are four COVID-19 deaths to report for the period of 08th July – 16th July 2021. All four deaths were reported from the Central Division. Kindly note these deaths are being reported today due to the delay in receiving the official death certificates. As mentioned above, we are currently in the process of 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 being made.

The first COVID-19 death to report is a 90-year-old man from Nausori who died at home on 08/07/2021. He was not vaccinated.

The second COVID-19 death to report is a 52-year-old woman from Suva who died at home on 12/07/2021. She was not vaccinated.

The third COVID-19 death to report is a 60-year-old man from Vatuwaqa who died at home on 13/07/2021. He was not vaccinated.

The fourth COVID-19 death to report is an 85-year-old woman from Nausori who died at home on 16/07/2021. She was not vaccinated.

There have been 5 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 serious pre-existing medical conditions and not COVID-19.

There have now been 544 deaths due to COVID-19 in Fiji, with 542 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 11th, the national 7 days rolling average of COVID-19 deaths per day is 1.3. The 7 day rolling average for COVID-19 deaths per day in the Central Division is 1 and in the Western Division is 0.3.

We also have recorded 379 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 124 COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital. 37 patients are admitted at the Lautoka Hospital, 4 patients are admitted at the FEMAT field hospital, and 83 are admitted at CWM hospital, St Giles, and Makoi. 5 patients are considered to be in severe condition, and 4 are in critical condition.

Screening Update

A total of 6,638 individuals were screened and 601 swabbed at our stationary screening clinics in the last 24 hours, bringing our cumulative total to 602,406 individuals screened and 96,160 swabbed to date. Our mobile screening teams screened a total of 2,211 individuals and swabbed 646. This brings our cumulative total to 834,799 individuals screened and 74,998 swabbed by our mobile teams.

Testing Update

A total of 352,643 samples have been tested since this outbreak started in April 2021, with 395,504 tested since testing began in March 2020. 1,451 tests have been reported for September 15th. The 7-day daily test average is 1,246 tests per day or 1.4 tests per 1,000 population. Weekly testing is at 10.3 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 12.4%, which is on a downward trend but still indicating a high level of community transmission.

Vaccination Update 

To date, 580,504 adults in Fiji have received their first dose of the vaccine and 372,434 have received their second doses. This means that 97.7% of the target population have received at least one dose and 63.5% 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 145 cases per day or 164 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.

Seven new cases were recorded in Kadavu in the last 24 hours bringing the total number of cases to 490. Ten patients are currently admitted at Vunisea hospital, of which 5 are COVID positive and currently in stable condition, and 5 are negative for COVID-19. Mobile outreach teams continue with their visits to villages and settlements carrying out the follow-up of primary contacts, monitoring of positive patients and clearance, roll out of COVID-19 vaccination, MCH clinic, and immunization of babies, GOPD consultation, and SOPD clinic with medicine replenishment. Kavala health team is continuing with 2nd dose vaccinations as well as 1st dose jabs as part of the mop-up campaign. Movement restrictions remain in force supervised by the Police team and the Vanua.

Two new cases have been reported for Malolo Island in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 63. Of these, 33 individuals have recovered and 30 remain active cases. Daily assessment continues for the active cases and their contacts. Six high-risk cases are stable and remain in home isolation. Movement restrictions remain in force for all villages on the island.

Three new cases have been reported on Naviti Island in the last 24 hours. Of the total of 138 cases on the island, 75 individuals have recovered while 63 cases remain active and under surveillance by the health team. Movement restrictions are in place for all villages.

No new cases were recorded on Waya Island in the last 24 hours. 25 cases remain active and under home isolation in their villages with a daily assessment conducted by the Yalobi nursing station health team. The island remains under strict movement restrictions.

Two new cases were diagnosed on Enadala settlement in Nacula Island in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases on the island to 27. The positive cases are under isolation in their respective villages and monitored daily by the health team from Nacula health center. The other 4 villages and one settlement on the island have not recorded any positive case to date. Strict movement restriction remains in place for the whole island.

Beqa Island has recorded 56 new cases in the last 24 hours in the villages of Lalati, Soliyaga, Dakuni, Naceva, Dakuibeqa, Waisomo, and Raviravi. This brings the total number of cases to 118, of which 117 are active cases and are on daily monitoring by the health team. 168 swab tests were done in the last 24 hours, and education and awareness on COVID safe measures and vaccination continue for the villagers on the island. Movement restriction remains in force for the whole island.

Public Updates and Advice:

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts, will begin the vaccination of eligible children aged 15 to 17 years with the Moderna vaccine from Monday 20th September 2021. Online registration is encouraged before vaccination, and the stringent process in place will ensure that parental or guardian consent is secured before vaccination. No vaccine will be given without the consent of parents or guardians.

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 at the jab site, swelling, 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.