A six-month-old is among eight people who died in Fiji from COVID-19 between 27January and 01 February.

The baby was admitted at the CWM Hospital and her medical records reflect that she had a congenital medical condition that contributed to the severity of her illness and death on Monday.

All eight deceased were from the Central division.

809 people have died due to COVID-19 in Fiji so far.

The Ministry of Health also recorded 95 new cases of which 83 new cases were recorded on Tuesday and 12 new cases Wednesday.

88 cases were recorded in the Central division; four in the Western division and three cases were recorded in the Northern division.

Meanwhile, Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete received 3000 WASH COVID-19 kits from UNICEF at the Ministry’s Headquarters in Suva Wednesday.

Minister Waqainabete said UNICEF had been supporting Fiji’s Ministry of Health and Medical Services during all the emergency response efforts (natural disasters, measles, etcetera), including the COVID-19 pandemic and at the height of the third wave of COVID-19, with the provision of WASH supplies and technical support.

“In the aftermath of TC Cody and tsunami response to the Tongan volcanic eruption, we were fortunate to have a reliable partner like UNICEF who supported the WASH Cluster with the provision of 1,000 WASH and dignity kits, 500 collapsible containers and 10 boxes of water purification tablets. These WASH kits, water purification tablets and collapsible containers benefitted a lot of affected families in the Lau Islands and the Western Division,“ said Minister Waqainabete.

“The Ministry of Health and Medical Services will once again collaborate with UNICEF and the Fiji Council of Services (FCOSS) to carry out preparedness and response work for COVID-19 and during this disaster season.”

Through this partnership, FCOSS will conduct a WASH needs assessment in the rural communities and informal settlements of Fiji’s three divisions, as well as support the Divisional Health Offices, in distributing COVID-19 WASH response kits to affected families and persons in need.

FCOSS executive director Vani Catanasiga said the event was an acknowledgement of the centrality of the multi-stakeholder partnership in the fight against COVID-19, as well as the effort for community recovery in times of natural disaster.

UNICEF representative Jonathan Veitch said the organisation appreciated the importance of WASH to the ministry’s plans and priorities.

Some 2000 copies of the printed Community Health Workers WASH Manual were also handed to the ministry, which was funded through UK Aid, and this will be distributed to all Community Health Workers around the country.