Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong is urging all Fijians not to engage in unauthorized travel to and from Viti Levu after two individuals tested positive for COVID-19 in Cubi Settlement, Malolo Island.
Doctor Fong says early investigations reveal that these two individuals travelled to Malolo Island from Viti Levu without proper authorization.
They are currently isolated.
Further details will be provided once investigations are complete.
Doctor Fong says their current protocols to regulate domestic movements must be followed to prevent the spread of the virus beyond Viti Levu.
He says the remoteness of the maritime islands, and their limited resources, mean that any outbreak with severe cases will be very challenging to manage.
Doctor Fong says we need the people in the maritime islands fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to help protect them from severe disease and death before any movement occurs beyond the currently controlled repatriation.
They also repeat the call to all village leaders and elders to support the current efforts to protect our maritime islands and to immediately report any suspicious movements into your community.
302 new cases of COVID-19 have been announced for the 24 hour period that ended at 8am today.
148 cases are from the Western Division and 154 cases are from the Central Division.
There have been 430 new recoveries reported since the last update, which means that there are now 18,916 active cases.
9,653 active cases are in the Central Division, 9,127 active cases in the Western Division, 1 active case in the Northern Division (Nabouwalu) and 135 active cases in the Eastern Division (all in Kadavu).
There have been 44,420 cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021.
We have recorded a total of 44,490 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020, with 24,855 recoveries.
322,144 samples have been tested since this outbreak started in April 2021, with 365,005 tested since testing began in March 2020.
1,533 tests have been reported for August 23rd.
The 7-day daily test average is 1724 tests per day or 1.9 tests per 1,000 population.
The national 7-day average daily test positivity is 27.9%.
There are 9 new COVID-19 deaths from the 18th to the 23rd of August.
Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong says four deaths were reported from the Central Division and five deaths were reported from the Western Division.
The first COVID-19 death is a 60 year old woman from Lautoka. She presented to the Lautoka Hospital in respiratory distress. She reported having a fever, cough and shortness of breath for one week prior to presentation. She died 11 days after admission on 21st August. She was not vaccinated.
The second death is a 67 year old woman from Lautoka. She presented to the Lautoka Hospital Emergency Department in severe respiratory distress. She died on the same day on 20th August. She was not vaccinated.
The third COVID-19 death is a 66 year old woman from Navua who died at home on 18th August. She was not vaccinated.
The fourth death is a 66 year old man from Naitasiri. He presented to the CWM Hospital in severe respiratory distress. He died 10 days after admission on 23rd August. He was not vaccinated.
The fifth COVID-19 death is an 84 year old woman from Navua who died at home on 21st August. She was not vaccinated.
The sixth death is a 57 year old man from Nadi. He presented to the Nadi Hospital in severe respiratory distress. He died on the same day 23rd August. He was not vaccinated.
The seventh COVID-19 death is an 80 year old man from Nadi. He presented to the Nadi Hospital in severe respiratory distress. His family reported that he had shortness of breath for one week prior to the presentation. He died on the same day on 23rd August. He was not vaccinated.
The eighth COVID-19 death is a 72 year old woman from Suva. She presented to the CWM Hospital in severe respiratory distress. She died 16 days after admission on 23rd August. She received the 1st dose of the vaccine in late July. She did not receive the second dose of the vaccine.
The ninth death is a 49 year old man from Ba who died at home on 20th August. He was not vaccinated.
There have been 9 more deaths of COVID-19 positive patients. However, these 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.
With today’s newly reported deaths, there have now been 453 deaths due to COVID-19 in Fiji, with 451 of these deaths during the outbreak that started in April this year.
As of August 19th, the national 7 day rolling average of COVID-19 deaths per day is 10.
Doctor Fong says the 7 day rolling average for COVID-19 deaths per day is 4 in the Central Division and 6 in the Western Division.
Fiji has also recorded 266 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.
There are currently 264 COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital.
111 patients are admitted at the Lautoka Hospital, 38 patients are admitted at the FEMAT Field Hospital, and 115 admitted at CWM Hospital, St Giles, and Makoi.
24 patients are considered to be in severe condition, and 10 are in critical condition.
545,459 adults in Fiji have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine and 241,027 have received their second doses.
This means that 93% of the target population have received at least one dose and 41.1% are now fully vaccinated nationwide.
Meanwhile Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong says the 7-day average of new cases per day is 473 cases per day or 535 cases per million population per day.
He says they have noted a drop in cases reported per day recently. However, the daily testing numbers have also been dropping around the same time, due to the change in testing policy in Suva-Nausori.
Since July 21st, only persons that have a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 are being targeted for testing in Suva-Nausori.
This was done so that resources could be targeted to early detection, monitoring and care of persons with COVID-19 who are at higher risk of severe disease, to prevent more people succumbing to severe disease and death.
Doctor Fong says they will be transitioning to community surveillance testing as severe disease numbers and positivity rates approach the containment phase levels.
He says they are likely seeing the effect of this testing policy change now in Suva-Nausori with the drop in daily reported cases.
Doctor Fong says this does not mean that the outbreak is on a downward trend in the Suva-Nausori community.
As previously announced by the Permanent Secretary, daily case numbers in Suva-Nausori are currently not being used as an indicator to monitor the progress of the outbreak in Suva-Nausori.
The Ministry is closely monitoring other indicators such as test positivity, hospitalisations and deaths to track the progress of the outbreak in Suva-Nausori.
They are seeing increasing cases reported in the Western Division with evidence of widespread community transmission in the division.
The Northern Division has one active case, with all contacts in quarantine so far testing negative, and swabbing results from within the containment area, and nearby communities also returning negative.
Doctor Fong says the situation in Kadavu in the Eastern Division continues to remain a concern.
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