Fiji has recorded 1,187 new cases of COVID-19 and 11 new deaths Wednesday, increasing the total number of cases in the island nation to 33,850 since the outbreak in April.
Permanent secretary for Health, Dr James Fong said 387 cases are from the Western division and 800 cases are from the Central Division in Vitilevu, Fiji’s main island.
He said there have been 1204 new recoveries reported since the last update, which means that there are now 22,658 active cases. 18,318 active cases are in the Central Division and 4,340 in the Western division.
“We have recorded a total of 33,920 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020, with 10,848 recoveries,” he said.
Dr Fong said the 11 new COVID-19 deaths reported for the period of 31 July- 04 August. Nine of the deaths were in the Central division, and two deaths were from the Western division.
“The first COVID-19 death to report is a 65-year-old man from Nasinu who died at home on the 03/08/2021. He was not vaccinated.
“The second COVID-19 death to report is a 75-year-old man from Suva who died at home on the 02/08/2021. He was not vaccinated.
“The third COVID-19 death to report is a 68-year-old woman from Kinoya who died at home on the 31/07/2021. She was not vaccinated.
“The fourth COVID-19 death to report is a 78-year-old woman from Tailevu. She presented to a medical facility in severe respiratory distress. Her condition worsened at the medical facility and she died on the same day (03/08/2021). She was not vaccinated.
“The fifth COVID-19 death to report is a 71-year-old man from Tailevu who died at home on the 31/07/2021. He was not vaccinated.
“The sixth COVID-19 death to report is a 50-year-old woman from Lautoka. She was declared dead on arrival by the attending medical officer at the Lautoka Hospital. This means that she died at home or on her way to the hospital. She was not vaccinated.
“The seventh COVID-19 death to report is a 21-year-old man from Malake Island. He was declared dead on arrival by the attending medical officer at the Rakiraki Sub-Divisional Hospital. This means that he died at home or on his way to the hospital. His family reported that he had shortness of breath one day prior to presentation. He received his first dose of the vaccine in early May. He did not receive the second dose of the vaccine. This means that he was not fully vaccinated.
“The eighth COVID-19 death to report is a 53-year-old woman from Nasinu. She presented to the CWM Hospital Emergency Department in severe respiratory distress. Her condition worsened at the hospital and she died one day after admission (03/08/2021). She was not vaccinated.
“The ninth COVID-19 death to report is a 44-year-old man from Suva who died at home on the 04/08/2021. He was not vaccinated.
“The tenth COVID-19 death to report is a 60-year woman from Caubati who died at home on the 04/08/2021. She was not vaccinated.
“The eleventh COVID-19 death to report is a 61-year woman from Makoi who died at home on the 04/08/2021. She was not vaccinated,” said Dr Fong.
He said there have been 3 more deaths of COVID-19 positive patients.
“However, their deaths have been classified as non-COVID deaths by their doctors. Doctors have determined that their deaths were caused by serious pre-existing medical conditions and not COVID-19.
“There have now been 272 deaths due to COVID-19 in Fiji, with 270 of these deaths during the outbreak that started in April this year. The 7-day rolling average of COVID-19 deaths per day is 7. We also have recorded 142 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,” Dr Fong said.
He said there are currently 254 COVID-19 patients admitted to Fiji hospitals.
“79 patients are admitted at the FEMAT field hospital, and 175 admitted at CWM hospital, St Giles, and Makoi. 46 patients are considered to be in severe condition, and 10 are in critical condition,” he said
“Based on available data the national 7-day daily test average is 3388 tests per day or 3.8 tests per 1,000 population. The national 7-day average daily test positivity is 32.0 percent,” Dr Fong explained.
He said the 7-day average of new cases per day is 1103 cases per day or 1247 cases per million population per day.
“Daily cases numbers remain high, and daily test positivity remains high, indicating ongoing widespread community transmission in the Suva-Nausori containment zone. Cases are also increasing in the West with evidence of community transmission in that division,” said Dr Fong.
As of the 03rd August 494,855 adults in Fiji have received their first dose of the vaccine and 158,271 have received their second doses. This means that 84.4% of the target population have received at least one dose and 27% are now fully vaccinated nationwide.
Meanwhile, Fiji’s Ministry of Health with assistance from the World Health Organisation (WHO) has reviewed the current advice that recommends a waiting period of 90 days before a person previously infected with COVID-19 should receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Based on updated evidence, and advice from WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (SAGE), and established practice in other countries, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services now advises that all those who have recovered recently from COVID-19 or presumed COVID-19 are eligible for vaccination once they have completed 14 days of isolation and recovered from acute illness.
“The evidence is that the vaccine is safe for people with prior COVID-19 infection, including within 90 days of recent recovery. While there is evidence that previous infection confers immunity for at least 6 months; immunity from previous infection will have limited protection from other variants of concern. This is why people who have been previously infected with COVID-19 need to be vaccinated,” Dr Fong explained.
He said they are also aware that the previous advice was partly promoted when vaccine supply was limited to ensure priority is given to those without any immunity.
“Given the high level of vaccine supply, the safety data, the need for broader protection, and the highly transmissible nature of the Delta variant, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services advice is that all those who have recovered recently from COVID-19 or presumed COVID-19 are eligible for vaccination once they have completed 14 days of isolation and recovered from acute illness,” Dr Fong said.