PRESS RELEASE

COVID-19 Update – 20-09-2021

Last Updated on 1 month by Publishing Team

Media Release

COVID-19 Daily Update

Monday, 20th September 2021 

Transmission Update

We have 121 new cases of COVID-19 to report for the 24 hour period that ended at 8 am today. 103 cases are from the Western Division and 18 cases are from the Central Division.

There have been 134 new recoveries to report since the last update, which means that there are now 12,948 active cases. There have been 50,010 cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021. We have recorded a total of 50,080 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020, with 36,145 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 deaths to report today. However, as mentioned above and following further review of our active case database, we have an additional 9 COVID-19 deaths to report for the period of 12th July 2021- 09th August 2021. All deaths were reported from the Central Division. An analysis of the 9 deaths have highlighted that individuals were aged between 49 to 83 years, 44% (n=4) were males, 67% (n=6) of the individuals died at home or on their way to the hospital and 67 % (n=6 ) of these deaths were unvaccinated, the remaining 33% (n=3) received only one dose of the vaccine. This means that there were no deaths of individuals who were fully vaccinated.

There have been 11 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 a serious pre-existing medical condition and not COVID-19.

There have now been 575 deaths due to COVID-19 in Fiji, with 573 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 15th, the national 7 days rolling average of COVID-19 deaths per day is 1.1. The 7 days rolling average for COVID-19 deaths per day in the Central Division is 0.4 and 0.7 in the Western Division.

We have also recorded 412 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 111 COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital. 31 patients are admitted at the Lautoka Hospital and 80 are admitted at CWM hospital, St Giles, and Makoi. 3 patients are considered to be in severe condition, and 3 are in critical condition.

 Screening Update

A total of 813 individuals were screened and 148 swabbed at our stationary screening clinics in the last 24 hours, bringing our cumulative total to 624,565 individuals screened and 97,268 swabbed to date. Our mobile screening teams screened a total of 175 individuals and swabbed 114. This brings our cumulative total to 838,278 individuals screened and 75,514 swabbed by our mobile teams.

Testing Update

A total of 357,306 samples have been tested since this outbreak started in April 2021, with 400,167 tested since testing began in March 2020. 857 tests have been reported for September 19th. Lab testing data from one lab is pending. Therefore, lab testing data is expected to increase. The 7-day daily test average is 1,296 tests per day or 1.5 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 10.8%, which is on a downward trend, but it still is indicating a high level of community transmission.

Vaccination Update

As of the 19th of September 2021: 587,948 adults in Fiji have received their first dose of the vaccine and 387,320 have received their second doses. This means that 98% of the target population have received at least one dose and 66% are now fully vaccinated nationwide.

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 138 cases per day or 156 cases per million population per day. As previously announced by the Permanent Secretary, the daily case numbers in the Suva-Nausori corridor 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.

Four new cases were recorded on Kadavu Island in the last 24 hours bringing the total number of cases to 530. Of these, 54 remain active and under daily monitoring by the health team. Eleven patients are currently admitted at Vunisea hospital, of which 6 are COVID positive and currently in stable condition, and 5 are negative for COVID-19. Education and awareness sessions continue for the villages and communities. Beginning today, 5 vaccination teams from Vunisea hospital and 2 vaccination teams from Kavala health center are visiting villages and settlements conducting vaccination for the occupants. Movement restrictions remain in force supervised by the Police team and the Vanua.

No new cases have been reported for Malolo Island in the last 24 hours, and the 18 remaining active cases are monitored daily by the health team. Four high-risk cases are stable and remain in home isolation. Movement restrictions remain in force for all villages on Malolo Island.

Five new cases have been reported on Naviti Island in the last 24 hours. Of the total of 178 cases on the island, 90 individuals have recovered while 88 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 is still under strict movement restrictions.

Fifty-one new cases were diagnosed in the villages of Nacula, Bukama, Dalomo, Teci, and Yasawa-i-Rara villages on Nacula Island and Yasawa Island under the Nacula Medical Area in the last 24 hours. This brings the total number of cases in the medical area to 80, and they are now 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.

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:

Vaccination of Eligible Children

Vaccination of eligible children aged 15 to 17 years with the Moderna vaccine has started today Monday, 20th September 2021, and parents are encouraged to register their children before vaccination. The vaccination sites for children can be obtained from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Facebook page as well as the Government Facebook page. Parental or guardian consent is mandatory before vaccination. No vaccine will be administered 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.