The Permanent Secretary of Health Dr James Fong says the 16 deaths reported last night were people who were at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 disease and died at home or on arrival at the hospital.
Dr Fong says these were people who were over the age of 50 or had significant underlying medical conditions (non-communicable disease).
He also says and even more sadly, 14 of the people who died were not vaccinated.
Dr Fong adds as a society, we must do our very best to protect the most vulnerable in our communities, and the best protection against severe disease and death is getting two doses of the vaccine, getting the booster when you are due, and suppressing transmission through COVID-19 safe measures.
He highlighted that the Ministry of Health continues to conduct outreach to remote communities in the Northern Division in the effort to increase vaccination coverage.
Dr Fong says they are asking the communities to also encourage the vulnerable people they know to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Dr Fong further says they are also strongly advising anyone who is in the high-risk group and develops any COVID-19 symptoms, to please come forward to be tested and reviewed by the medical staff.
Symptoms include cold or flu-like symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, body ache, fever.
Dr Fong says if you test positive you will be placed on a care pathway that will involve monitoring and escalation of care if required.
He adds they also need everyone to be aware of the symptoms of severe COVID-19 and immediately seek emergency medical care if they are present.
The symptoms are shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, coughing blood, difficulty staying awake, pale, grey or blue coloured skin.
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