Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong says there is no question that medical officials and facilities are stretched and they have created extra capacity to be able to save as many lives as possible.
As COVID-19 infections continue to be widespread across the Suva-Nausori Containment Zone and Fiji having the highest number of new cases per million population per day, Doctor Fong says they are trying their best to provide COVID care to those who have severe symptoms at the allocated health facilities.
As earlier highlighted by Legend FM News, our health officials and facilities have been stretched over the past few weeks with cases continuing to rise, and severe cases, hospitalisations and deaths continuing to increase.
Doctor Fong says the tents are created for the purpose of ensuring access to treatment modalities.
He says the conditions described are similar to that which is seen during all our past emergency situations when they have set up evacuation centres.
Doctor Fong told Legend FM News that Fiji is currently recording among the highest rates in the world with our 7 day average of 1182 new COVID-19 cases per million population per day.
He says this rate is on the background of more then 90 percent of cases being from the Central Division and close to 50 percent of Fiji’s population being in the Central Division. Doctor Fong says a key part of their current focus is to delay the spread of infection in the Western Division as far as possible to buy time for vaccinations coverage to increase and to avoid the peak in the West from coinciding with the current one in the Central Division.
He says the other part is to prevent or minimize the spread of disease to the North and Maritime Islands by controlled repatriation and taking stringent measures to ensure that freight supply ships can deliver freight without the crew coming into contact with anyone on the COVID-19 contained areas.
Meanwhile a video is now being widely circulated from the COVID Care Tent outside CWM Hospital in Suva showing the conditions that some COVID-19 patients are staying and dying in.
The video done by a woman who is a COVID patient is circulating on social media and starts with a dead body wrapped up on one of the beds. She says her bed is a few metres away from the body.
The COVID-19 positive person is then seen walking outside the tent where a number of people can be seen. She says they are visitors.
The woman also says she is COVID positive and is just walking around like a tourist.
She also shows the unisex portable toilet.
Doctor Fong has stressed to fijivillage today that no visitors are allowed into the COVID Care area as they have a sorting area.
He also says COVID positive patients are not supposed to be walking around outside the Care Facility and he is concerned that some of these people are knowingly doing that.
Doctor Fong says during these trying times, they are providing the best possible COVID care they can, which is saving lives.
He says these facilities have oxygen.
The Permanent Secretary says through the airvos and ventilators close to the patients, they are saving lives.
Doctor Fong stresses that everyone needs to continue to follow the COVID protocols everywhere and also ensure that they are fully vaccinated to avoid severe disease, hospitalisation and death.
The 7-day average of new COVID-19 cases per day for Fiji is a worrying 1046 cases per day or 1182 cases per million population per day. This has been rated as the highest in the world.
Doctor Fong says with the high numbers of new daily cases we are also seeing increasing cases of severe disease and deaths.
With all this happening, Doctor Fong had already highlighted on April 26th on how things would happen.
232,972 samples have been tested since this outbreak started in April 2021, with 275,833 tested since testing began in March 2020.
The national 7-day average daily test positivity is 26%.
Doctor Fong says COVID-19 infections are widespread across the Suva-Nausori Containment Zone.
He says this means that if you develop any of the symptoms of COVID-19 you should assume you have COVID-19 and isolate yourself at home.
Do not wait for a positive test result to self-isolate.
Isolating yourself will help to stop the spread of COVID-19 to others.
The symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, fatigue/extreme tiredness, loss of taste or smell, headache, aches and pains, sore throat, fever, diarrhoea, red eyes and skin rash.
Severe COVID-19 is a medical emergency, and a delay in receiving appropriate medical treatment reduces your chance of recovering from the disease.
Severe symptoms of COVID-19 include difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, severe headache for a few days, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, pale, gray, or blue-coloured skin, lips or nail beds.
If you or a loved one live in the Suva-Nausori Containment Zone and have any of these severe symptoms please go immediately to CWM Hospital, FEMAT Hospital, Vodafone Arena, individuals in Nausori with severe symptoms should go to Nausori Health Centre or Wainibokasi Hospital.
Call 165 if you are unable to travel to a medical facility.
Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations