Downward trend in Fiji’s COVID-19 death rate

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The overall COVID-19 death rate graphs for Central and Western divisions in Vitilevu, Fiji’s main island indicate a declining trend.

This, according to Ministry of Health and Medical Services permanent secretary Dr James Fong.

“The differences between the Central and Western are similar to the incidence of the daily cases and are likely a reflection of vaccination levels, COVID mitigation measures, and differences in population density,” he said.

“Overall the death rate graphs for the Central and Western divisions indicate a declining trend.

“The overall indications of the cases, hospitalisation, and deaths data indicate a positive response to our overall COVID response with the epidemic in the West having a lower and delayed disease peak with lower cumulative numbers compared to the Central Division.”

He said the first case of COVID-19 recorded during the second wave of the pandemic on Viti Levu was six months ago.

“Within Viti Levu, the outbreak was limited to the Lami to Nausori containment area long enough to escalate vaccination and clinical response capacity outside the containment area.

“This contributed to a lower peak and the total number of cases, hospitalisations, and deaths outside the containment area within Viti Levu.”

There have been 661 COVID-19 deaths in Fiji.

Meanwhile, Dr Fong says they are continuing the process of normalising movement between Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.

At present, he said the movement was mediated by registration for a repatriation number and the issuance of a MOHMS travel pass.

The current COVID-19 vaccine coverage rates for the North are 91.8 per cent for dose one and 75.1 percent for dose two.

He said the team managing the travel to and from the Northern Division would continue to increase the number of travelers they could support to travel as the vaccination rates improved.

“From tomorrow, Tuesday (October 19), all travel from Vanua Levu to the Central Division will not need a registration number nor a MOHMS pass,” Dr Fong said last night.

“The Registration and MOHMS pass process will be maintained with regards to travel from Viti Levu to Vanua Levu to ensure that the travel is documented for contact tracing, a negative pre-departure test, and vaccination status is verified, and the travel caseload to the North team is kept manageable.

“All these factors are important to both preventing and being able to contain Sars-CoV 2 transmission in the North.

“The public is strongly advised to only do a pre-departure test only after your registration number is obtained.”

Dr Fong added that given the increasing vaccination rates, daily traveling quotas to the North were being increased, and that they would also be transitioning to self-monitored home quarantine.

He said the ministry had – in preparation for easing of restrictions in the North – remodeled the health service provision to ensure strengthened quarantine capacity, community surveillance, registration and line listing of vulnerable persons, preparations for the monitoring of positive cases and vulnerable persons, and clinical care protocols for severe disease reviewed and strengthened.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS