Fiji records 105 cases; over 1000 since second outbreak in April


Fiji has reported 105 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday, taking the total number of infections since the outbreak started in April over 1000.

Ministry of Health permanent secretary Dr James Fong said of the 105 cases, 98 of the new cases are linked to the existing clusters:

*CWMH – 21
*Nawajikuma, Nawaka, Nadi – 16
*Tramline, Nawaka, Nadi – 6
*Kinoya – 1
*Navosai – 2
*Waila -11
*Navy – 11
*IMT – 8
*Muanikoso – 15

Dr Fong said cases from the following areas are under investigation to determine whether they have links to other cases:

*Grantham Road – 5
*Tacirua – 2

He said eight patients have recovered with 796 active cases in isolation while 1048 cases were recorded during the current outbreak that started two months ago.

Two patients admitted at CWM Hospital for pre-existing severe illnesses have died.

Dr Fong said with the ongoing outbreak at the hospital, both patients tested positive for COVID-19 during their admission.

“However, their doctors have determined that their causes of death are related to the pre-existing illnesses for which they were admitted and receiving treatment for at the hospital,” he said.

“These are not COVID-19 caused deaths. The Ministry extends our condolences to the loved ones of the deceased patients.”

The two deaths have taken up the total of COVID-19 positive patients who have died from pre-existing non-COVID-19 related illnesses to six

Meanwhile, 28 days’ lockdown is not an option for government to fight the COVID-19 virus, says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

While delivering his national address on Friday night, he said shutting down completely was a drastic measure.

“So those who now call for 28 days of lockdown misunderstand the virus and disregard what that order would mean for our people.”

He said developing countries had never successfully implemented total lockdowns.

“Even wealthier countries, where average families have deep pockets and savings, have only rarely ever succeeded.

“After 28 days of total lockdown we could still see the virus re-emerge on day 30 or day 35 because of a single, undetected lapse by anyone, anywhere on Viti Levu.”

He said 28 days of a 24-hour curfew for all of Viti Levu would put all of us face to face with economic disaster and miserable isolation.

“If we took that route after we spent nearly 700 hours shut in our homes, Fiji would look vastly and cruelly different when we all re-emerged.

“People’s jobs may never return.

“We’d suffer structural unemployment through the permanent loss of industries.

“And I cannot allow that to happen. I will not.”

He said people living on day-to-day wages would never survive a 28 days’ lockdown compared with those with lucrative salary and healthy savings account.