COVID-19 claims another life; 91 new cases reported in Fiji

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Fiji has reported 91 new cases of COVID-19 and one death attributed to the virus.

Ministry of Health and Medical Services permanent secretary Dr James Fong said these figures were for new case notifications received between Wednesday night and 8am Thursday.

He said 49 of the new cases reported have been confirmed in the 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.

Dr Fong said 36 cases had been identified as primary contacts of earlier cases.

He said the respective response teams were determining the cluster link, and that include cases from Veisari in Lami (3), and Delainavesi (5).

“The remaining six cases from the following areas 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), and Raiwaqa (2),” Dr Fong said.

“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.”

Dr Fong said the fourth death was due to COVID-19 during this current outbreak.

He added that a review of cases recently reported from Nadi had revealed a duplicate entry for one case and, therefore, the duplicate had been removed from the active and total case count.

In under eight weeks, there have been 1463 cases of the Delta variant.

“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. A total of 7 positive patients have died from pre-existing non-Covid related illnesses,” Dr Fong said.

Meanwhile, the capacity of people to be kept in quarantine facilities will be capped at 300, and this will be reviewed as and when appropriate.

And CCTV coverage has been upgraded in selected quarantine facilities for improved monitoring and surveillance.

These steps are among Fiji’s border quarantine facilities and protocols that have been “exhaustively reviewed” to protect against transmission stemming from individuals entered into quarantine and isolation, said Ministry of Health permanent secretary Dr James Fong.

He said the other measures taken include:

*Hotel workers deemed as ‘high-risk’ will include housekeeping staff, maintenance, and reception staff and will be accommodated within the quarantine facility;

*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 and 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 the 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 immunisation rates for quarantine facilities and personnel – 90 per cent of hotel workers, 100 per cent of transfer drivers and 100 per cent 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,” Dr Fong said.

“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.”

He added that those facilities would also allow Fijians returning to Fiji after seeking medical treatment to safely return home.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS