Fiji covid-19 death toll still climbs – woman dies at 34 as crisis grows

Fiji PM Voreqe Bainimarama 250621
After receiving his second jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama is urging Fijians to get vaccinated for themselves and their families. Image: FBC News

By Lice Movono, RNZ Pacific correspondent in Suva

Three more people with covid-19 have died in Fiji in the last 24 hours — one of them the youngest patient since the pandemic reached the country in March 2020.

There have been 14 deaths from covid-19 and 12 were from this outbreak alone while 8 covid-19 positive patients have died from pre-existing illnesses.

Fiji’s total case count of the current outbreak of the Delta variant of covid, which began in mid-April, now stands at 2363 after another 215 cases were recorded between 8pm Thursday and 8am Friday morning.

Fiji’s test positivity ratio is now 6.3 percent.

Health Secretary Dr James Fong announced there had now been 3063 cases since March 2020 and 2993 of these was from the last eight weeks alone.

Two of today’s deaths were of covid positive patients who were under investigation to determine if covid-19 was the main cause, or if it was accelerated death.

However, the latest to die from covid was a 34-year-old woman from Nadawa, a suburb 10km outside of Suva who was declared dead on arrival at the Emergency Department at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH).

No pre-existing medical conditions
The woman had no known pre-existing medical conditions and had not been vaccinated.

Only three of today’s new cases are from outside of the Central Eastern division, two cases are from the district of Nawaka in Nadi, and one is a nurse at the Natabua Quarantine Facility in Lautoka.

The remaining 212 cases are from the capital Suva and adjacent towns Lami, Nasinu and Nausori.

While there are 101 cases from existing clusters, 18 cases are from new areas — the Flour Mills of Fiji, a large manufacturer of food items; New World Supermarket in Nasinu; the Police Medical unit in Suva; and the Our Lady of Nazareth home for retired nuns in Wailoku, outside Suva.

“The 7-day average of new cases per day has increased to 203 cases per day or 230 cases per million population per day. Our daily testing numbers have remained at a high level, and yet our test positivity continues to increase,” Dr Fong said.

“All the evidence is that there is widespread community transmission in the Lami-Suva-Nausori containment zone.”

There are also clusters in Naitasiri and one cluster in Korovou. There continue to be cases reported in Nadi, but so far they are from within the containment zone in the Nawajikuma, Nawakalevu, and Tramline containment area.

“The remaining cases are contacts of known cases, cases that were seen in screening clinics and were swabbed, and cases under investigation to determine possible sources of transmission.”

Meanwhile, the MOH has administered first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to 46 percent of Fiji’s adults, which is 272,354 people, and 6.5 percent, or 38,031 people, are now fully vaccinated.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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