Permanent Secretary for Health Doctor James Fong says they are preparing for the lifting of international travel restrictions and other social and workplace engagement restrictions, noting that a number of countries have seen an increased number of cases with the relaxation of restrictions.
He says there will always be people vulnerable to the virus even as we increase our vaccination coverage.
Doctor Fong adds we have one-third of the population under 18 years who will soon be eligible for vaccination.
He says we will have older people with comorbidities whose ability to build up vaccine immunity is not as good as younger and healthier persons.
The Permanent Secretary adds also of concern is that we will have unvaccinated people in our communities who are also not exposed to the virus and hence do not have any protection against the disease and among them are elderly persons and those with serious comorbidities.
He says as such, future resurgence of infections and increased case numbers will again test our critical care capacities.
Doctor Fong adds they are constantly reviewing and updating their healthcare protocols so they can respond effectively to future outbreaks.
He stresses that the key to avoiding future restrictions and lockdowns is for the public to remain cautious about how they engage in the greater freedom they will enjoy.
Doctor Fong further says whilst the easing of restrictions is needed to facilitate social and economic livelihood, the public must ensure that together with vaccination, we continue to observe our COVID safe measures and avoid contained spaces and crowds.
He says the potential for transmission in any community will be slower, and the ability to contain the outbreak better, when we achieve a high vaccination rate and also maintain strict adherence to COVID safe measures.
The Permanent Secretary says when we do this, we not only protect ourselves but also protect all those around us, especially the vulnerable, those not eligible for vaccination and those who are not yet vaccinated.
The Health Ministry says they have two COVID-19 deaths to report for the 29th of July 2021.
Both COVID-19 deaths were reported from the Central Division.
Permanent Secretary for Health Doctor James Fong says the two deaths are being reported now due to the delay in the issuance of the official death certificates.
The first COVID-19 death to report is a 79-year-old man from Suva who died at home on 29th July 2021. He was not vaccinated.
The second COVID-19 death to report is a 65-year-old woman from Suva who died at home on 29th July 2021. She was not vaccinated.
There have been 10 more deaths of COVID-19 positive patients.
However, these deaths have been classified as non-COVID deaths by their doctors. The doctors have determined that these deaths were caused by a serious pre-existing medical condition and not COVID-19.
There have now been 592 deaths due to COVID-19 in Fiji, with 590 of these deaths during the outbreak that started in April this year.
Fiji has 52 new cases of COVID-19 for the 24 hour period that ended at 8am yesterday.
There are now 13,045 active cases.
The Health Ministry says there have been a total of 50,807 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020.READ FULL COVID-19 UPDATE HERE
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