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Media Release

COVID-19 Update

Thursday, June 17th 2021

Transmission Update

We are reporting 91 cases since yesterday’s daily update.

Please note this is for new case notifications received between 6pm last night and  8am this morning. We are currently shifting to a new daily reporting format that will replace our current evening public reporting of the consolidated cases for the day. From tomorrow, the new daily cases will be reported to the public at 3pm for the 24 hour reporting period of 8am to 8am. This will allow our teams to investigate new cases and gather information to share with the public in a more efficient manner.

49 of the new cases reported have been confirmed in the following existing clusters:

Waila: 1
Rewa EOC: 5
Vunivivi: 1
Nasinu Police Barracks: 2
Korovou: 4
Navosai: 13
CWMH: 17
Tramline, Nadi: 4
Grantham Road: 1
Town House hotel: 1

36 cases have been identified as primary contacts of earlier cases, and the respective response teams are determining the cluster link, this includes cases from Veisari Lami (3) and Delainavesi, Lami (5).  The remaining 6  cases from the following areas that are under investigation to determine whether they have links to other cases: Vusuya, Rewa (1), Namuka-i-Lau, Lami (1),Lami village (1), Waikerekere, Lami (1),  Raiwaqa (2).

Sadly, we have one new death to report. This is a 76 year old male admitted at the CWM Hospital. He had a severe pre-existing medical condition, and his cause of death has been assessed by his doctors to be due to COVID-19. We have extended our condolences to the family of the deceased.

This is the 4th death due to COVID-19 during this current outbreak.

A review of cases recently reported from Nadi has revealed a duplicate entry for 1 case, therefore the duplicate has been removed from the active and total case count.

64  COVID-19 cases have recovered, which means there are now 1068 active cases in isolation. There have been 1463 cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021.

We have recorded a total of 1533 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020. There have been 452  recoveries and 6 deaths due to COVID-19. A total of 7 COVID-19 positive patients have died from pre-existing non-COVID-19 related illnesses.

Testing Update

With today’s change to the reporting schedule the latest testing data will be provided in tomorrow’s 3pm report.

Quarantine Facility Update

Fiji’s border quarantine facilities and protocols have been exhaustively reviewed to protect against transmission stemming from individuals entered into quarantine or isolation. The measures taken include:

  • Quarantine capacity is to be capped at 300. This will be reviewed as and when appropriate.
  • Hotel workers deemed as “high-risk” will include housekeeping staff, maintenance, and reception staff and will be accommodated within the quarantine facility.
  • CCTV coverage has been upgraded in selected quarantine facilities, for improved monitoring and surveillance.
  • All infection prevention protocols have been reviewed in all quarantine facilities and a refresher program has been carried out for all Hotel, Military and Health staff.
  • Internal reviews of the standard cleaning & disinfection protocols and the food and amenities delivery and exchange protocols for quarantine facilities have been conducted.
  • New mitigation measures have been introduced to address the risk related to transmission of the virus within tightly-contained spaces within quarantine facilities in the course of operations and frontline surveillance reporting, which includes mandatory reporting for staff on leave, has been strengthened.
  • Routine surveillance swabbing of all quarantine facility workers, health officials, military, and transfer companies will step-up from a fortnightly basis to a weekly basis (once every 7 days), to ensure early identification and appropriate management of cases; and
  • We have escalated immunization rates for quarantine facilities and personnel – 90% 0f hotel workers, 100% of transfer drivers and 100% of health workers and military personnel are fully-vaccinated.

Well-run quarantine facilities with adequate bed capacity are critical to the containment of COVID-19. We ask the public’s cooperation in establishing quarantine facilities. We are all safer when suitable facilities are open and available to cater for Fijians who may have been exposed to COVID-19. The more facilities are opened and run in accordance with these protocols, the higher level of success we’ll obtain in our containment of the virus. Additionally, these facilities will allow Fijians who are returning to Fiji after seeking medical treatment to safely return home.

Epidemic Outlook

Our mitigation strategy continues to rely on the women and men, doctors, nurses, contact tracers and members of our disciplined forces who serve on the frontlines. While they are provided with the proper personal protective equipment, they face a risk to their health and wellbeing every day of their service to the nation. We are committed to their safety and are grateful for the sacrifices they have continually made to protect the Fijian people. They are tracing contacts, they are caring for patients who develop severe disease, they are monitoring individuals under isolation, they are spending weeks at a time away from their families, and these heroes deserve the cooperation and the respect of the public.

Likewise, we are also making a strong appeal to our health officials to remain resolute in our purpose, our professionalism, and our patience in our service to the public. Our two-month battle against this outbreak has demanded great sacrifices from all of us, but it has also saved countless lives. In the line of duty, you may encounter moments of frustration. We urge you to meet those moments with compassion.

We have made excellent progress to-date with more than 250,000 people in Fiji receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and many more have been screened and tested. We have set a standard of professional conduct that has inspired confidence from the Fijian people, and that must remain the benchmark for our engagement with the public. We are disturbed by some reports of impolite and inappropriate conduct by some of our frontline officials, including those administering vaccines. We apologise if there have been any shortcomings or unprofessional lapses in our service delivery. We are constantly seeking to improve our services and we will not allow these incidents to define the professionalism of our overall effort. It is our mission to offer the full protection of vaccines to every eligible individual in Fiji and we cannot allow that mission to be compromised by reports of unprofessional conduct. Every Fijian who makes the decision to come forward to be vaccinated or swabbed to protect themselves, their loved ones and the country should be applauded, and these patriotic Fijians –– regardless of their background or status –– deserve nothing less than the full measure of your empathy and courtesy. We are all on the same team in the fight against the virus and victory can only be achieved together. Please, let us soldier on in a spirit of solidarity.

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