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Health Ministry notes an increase in COVID-19 cases
Dr Fong says the relaxation of public health measures will not have any adverse effect

Health Ministry notes an increase in COVID-19 cases

Dr Fong says the relaxation of public health measures will not have any adverse effect

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Friday 25/11/2022
Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr James Fong

The Health Ministry has noted an increase in COVID-19 cases in the country.

From last Thursday to yesterday, the Ministry recorded 68 new COVID-19 cases.

Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr James Fong says the increase is based on case numbers reported to them, positivity rates being compiled from hotel, airport and hospital workers and absenteeism rates from selected industries and schools.

He says they have noted 18 admitted cases who have incidentally tested positive for COVID-19, and they are currently focusing on implementing COVID safe measures around those vulnerable to the severe effects of COVID-19.

Dr Fong adds this includes escalating measures in hospitals, Old Peopleโ€™s Homes and facilities catering for disabled persons.

He says they expect to escalate screening protocols and masking for staff, patients, and visitor restrictions at all hospitals will still be in place.

The Permanent Secretary says consistent with the experience in other countries that have high vaccination rates, the Ministry anticipate a minimal increase in hospital admissions for COVID-19 disease despite increasing case numbers.

He adds while immune protection from the severe disease remains, there is an expectation that some variants will be more transmissible.

Dr Fong is advising all Fijians that COVID safe measures need to be instituted around the elderly, those with chronic disease, pregnant mothers and children with disabilities.

He says this involves proper masking of those caring for vulnerable persons, safe physical distancing for those visiting them, and ensuring they engage in highly ventilated spaces when they venture out of their homes.

He further says it is important for those with chronic diseases to be on proper treatment that ensures the optimal control of the diseases they have.

Dr Fong is emphasising that strengthening our ability to live with COVID means that we remain vigilant, maintain community-wide adoption of COVID safe measures where appropriate, and maintain the impetus for immunisation.

He says this is the only means to reduce the disease spread and protect those in the community who are less able to fend for themselves.

The Permanent Secretary says before they noted this increase, they had initiated the rescinding of some COVID-related public health measures relating to nightclubs, churches, sporting events and high-risk businesses.

Dr Fong says the decision to relax public health measures is based on the low number of admissions and severe cases despite the current changes in case numbers and they believe that the planned relaxation of public health measures will not have any adverse effect in terms of the number of severe COVID cases they expect to see from the recent increase in case numbers.

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