PRESS RELEASE

COVID-19 Update – 18-09-2021

Last Updated on 1 month by Publishing Team

Media Release

COVID-19 Daily Update

Saturday, 18th September 2021 

Transmission Update

We have 161 new cases of COVID-19 to report for the 24 hour period that ended at 8 am today. 101 cases are from the Western Division, 56 cases are from the Central Division while 4 cases are from the Eastern Division.

There have been 10 new recoveries to report since the last update, which means that there are now 12,985 active cases. 1,230 of the active cases are in the Central Division, 11,445 active cases in the Western Division, 1 active case in the Northern Division (Macuata), and 309 active cases in the Eastern Division (all in Kadavu).

There have been 49,810 cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021. We have recorded a total of 49,880 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020, with 35,929 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

We have no new COVID-19 deaths today.

There have now been 566 deaths due to COVID-19 in Fiji, with 564 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 September 13th, the national 7 days rolling average of COVID-19 deaths per day is 1.4. The 7 days rolling average for COVID-19 deaths per day in the Central Division is 0.9 and 0.6 in the Western Division.

We also have recorded 400 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 107 COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital. 32 patients are admitted at the Lautoka Hospital, 0 patients are admitted at the FEMAT field hospital, while 75 are admitted at CWM hospital, St Giles, and Makoi. 9 patients are considered to be in severe condition, and 3 are in critical condition.

Screening Update

A total of 6,100 individuals were screened and 298 swabbed at our stationary screening clinics in the last 24 hours, bringing our cumulative total to 618,601 individuals screened and 96,946 swabbed to date. Our mobile screening teams screened a total of 592 individuals and swabbed 123. This brings our cumulative total to 837,434 individuals screened and 75,322 swabbed by our mobile teams.

Testing Update

A total of 355,020 samples have been tested since this outbreak started in April 2021, with 397,881 tested since testing began in March 2020. 816 tests have been reported for September 17th. The 7-day daily test average is 1,187 tests per day or 1.3 tests per 1,000 population. Weekly testing is at 8 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 13.4%, which is on a downward trend but still indicating a high level of community transmission.

Vaccination Update 

To date, 586,737 adults in Fiji have received their first dose of the vaccine and 386,287 have received their second doses. This means that 97.9% of the target population have received at least one dose and 65.8% 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.

For persons who are currently ill or have valid reasons for delaying their vaccination, we request you to apply for possible temporary exemptions through covidexemptionreq@gmail.com.

Epidemic Outlook

The 7-day average of new cases per day is 146 cases per day or 165 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.

Kadavu recorded 5 new cases in the last 24 hours bringing the total number of cases to 526. Fourteen patients are currently admitted at Vunisea hospital, of which 6 are COVID positive and currently in stable condition, and 8 are negative for COVID-19. Education and awareness sessions continue for the villages and communities. Movement restrictions remain in force supervised by the Police team and the Vanua. A team of 17 FEMAT clinical, logistics, Ambulance crew and Lands Ministry officials are returning today from Kadavu after the completion of the acute phase of the response.

Three new cases have been reported for Malolo Island in the last 24 hours – 2 in Solevu village and 1 in Yaro village. 44 individuals have recovered and 19 remain active cases. Daily assessment continues for the active cases and their contacts. Four high-risk cases are stable and remain in home isolation. Movement restrictions remain in force for all villages on Malolo Island.

Thirty new cases have been reported in the villages of Muaira, Soso, Marou, and Yasawa High School on Naviti Island in the last 24 hours. Of the total of 173 cases on the island, 90 individuals have recovered while 83 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 active cases remain under home isolation in their villages with a daily assessment conducted by the Yalobi nursing station health team. The island is still under strict movement restrictions.

No new cases were diagnosed in Nacula village on Nacula Island in the last 24 hours. The 29 positive cases are under isolation in their respective villages and monitored daily by the health team from Nacula health center. Strict movement restriction remains in place for the whole island.

The community engagement team together with the health team visited Viwa Island and conducted an assessment in the 2 villages and I settlement on the island. 78 NP swabs were taken and 29 individuals received the first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Eighteen new cases were recorded in Dakuibeqa village on Beqa Island in the last 24 hours. This brings the total number of cases to 180, of which 179 are active cases and are on daily monitoring by the health team. Today is day 9 of the movement restriction that remains in force for the whole island.

Public Updates and Advice:

With the relaxation of movement restrictions on Viti Levu, we remind all communities that the threat of community transmission is always real, and is higher with unregulated travel. With a high vaccination rate and with strict adherence to covid safe measures, the potential for transmission in any community will be slower and the ability to contain the outbreak, better. Therefore, we encourage everyone to become fully vaccinated and to continue to practice COVID safe measures at all times.

Vaccination of Eligible Children

Vaccination of eligible children aged 15 to 17 years with the Moderna vaccine from Monday 20th September 2021. Online registration is open and parents are encouraged to register their children before vaccination. Parental or guardian consent is mandatory before vaccination. No vaccine will be given to any child without the consent of the parent or guardian.

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, swelling at the jab site, 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.