Fiji reports 241 new covid cases and one death – pastors warned

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Fiji church leaders get jab
Former Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma president Reverend Epineri Vakadewavosa (from left), president Rev Ili Vunisuwai and general secretary Rev Iliesa Naivalu show their vaccination cards after their jabs at the Methodist Church compound at Pender St in Suva. Image: Rama/Fiji Times/File

By Timoci Vula in Suva

Fiji has reported 241 new cases of covid-19 infections and one death in the 24-hour period ending at 8am yesterday.

Health Secretary Dr James Fong said 5 cases were prison officers from Suva who were undergoing 14 days quarantine at the FSC Compound in Rakiraki as part of essential movement from red zone to green zone when they tested positive.

The remaining cases were from the Lami-Suva-Nausori containment zone.

He said there were 106 cases from existing areas of interest, and 17 from the following new areas of interest:

  • Fiji Times
  • Food City Suva
  • Matanisivoro Settlement
  • National Kidney Centre-Nadera
  • Suva City Council, and
  • Tamavua-i-Wai.

“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,” Dr Fong said in his covid-19 update last evening.

He said the new covid-19 death was a 50-year-old man from Newtown – believed to have died at home and was declared dead on arrival by doctors at the Valelevu Health Centre.

“He was reported to be in severe respiratory distress before death. According to protocol, he was swabbed at the health centre, and tested positive. His death has been classified as a covid-19 death by the doctors at the health centre,” Dr Fong said.

“He had received the first dose of the vaccine early this month. He was not fully vaccinated.”

Dr Fong said another death that was previously reported to be under investigation had also now been classified by doctors as as a covid-19 death.

He said the 62-year-old man from Grantham Rd had presented to the FEMAT field hospital in respiratory distress and died on the same day.

“He had been having respiratory symptoms, including shortness of breath, for at least a week before presenting to FEMAT.

“According to protocol, he was swabbed and tested positive for covid-19. He was not vaccinated.”

Church warns pastors on vaccine messages
Meanwhile, The Fiji Times reports that the Methodist Church has warned its leaders that it would take action against those influencing church members not to get vaccinated.

Speaking during a virtual meeting regarding the church’s stand on covid-19 on Thursday, the church’s general secretary, the Rev Iliesa Naivalu has reminded pastors that they were answerable to the church.

Naivalu has also called on them to refrain from circulating baseless videos being circulated on social media.

Naivalu reminded pastors that they had a duty to preach about goodness and life to those under their charge.

Timoci Vula is a Fiji Times reporter. Republished with permission.

Fiji covid-19 statistics 28-06-21
Fiji covid-19 statistics updates for 28 June 2021. Graphic: Fiji govt
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