Nearly all COVID-19 deaths so far in the 3rd wave were at home without treatment in a care facility – Dr Waqainabete

Nearly all COVID-19 deaths so far in the 3rd wave were at home without treatment in a care facility – Dr Waqainabete

By Iva Danford
Thursday 20/01/2022
Minister for Health Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete. [Image: Fijian Government]

Minister for Health Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete says it is a sad fact that nearly all COVID-19 deaths in this 3rd wave so far were at home without any treatment in a care facility.

Dr Waqainabete says this variant is less severe however some people who are over the age of 50 or have significant chronic illnesses are still at risk.

He says thanks to the excellent protection offered by vaccines, they are seeing much lower levels of severe disease and hospitalisation compared to past outbreaks.

Dr Waqainabete says the vaccination and booster coverage are high and rising daily, with 90% of Fijians over the age of 15 now fully vaccinated.

He says they are in a new stage of the pandemic where the rate of hospitalisations is the most important metric upon which they base decision-making.

He says we must also remember that COVID-19 is not the only challenge that people face every day as taking the pressure off health systems for COVID-related care will enable them to deal with the many other health challenges faced, including Non-Communicable Diseases, which is a far greater threat to Fijians than the coronavirus.

Waqainabete says if we get back to the basics of COVID-safety, the economy can continue to function, we can continue to work and engage with each other, and the children can attend school through the protocols they have carefully designed in close cooperation with the Ministry of Education, WHO and UNICEF.

He says together, with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism, and Transport they have also put together a number COVID-Safe Protocols as approved by the respective Permanent Secretaries with effect from 17 January 2022.

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