Four new deaths as Fiji records hundreds more covid cases

Fiji covid health workers
Fiji covid health workers ... hundreds of new infection cases reported in the country. Image: RNZ/Red Cross

RNZ Pacific

Four more people have died as Fiji recorded 312 new covid-19 cases in the 24 hours ending at 8am yesterday.

The Health Ministry said 295 cases were from the Lami-Suva-Nausori containment zone, while 17 were from the western division.

There are now 3306 active cases in isolation with 21 deaths reported since March 2020 – 19 from this latest outbreak in April this year.

Fiji’s Health Secretary Dr James Fong said four cases were from the existing containment zones of Tramline and Qima Settlement in Nadi.

He said one was a corrections officer from Suva undergoing quarantine at the Tavua Prison compound as part of the essential movement from the red zone to the green zone when they tested positive.

This is similar to the prison officers who had tested positive on Monday in Rakiraki.

The second case in Tavua lives at the Public Works Department quarters and his source of transmission is under investigation.

Four new Lovu cases
“There are four new cases from Lovu, Lautoka, with unknown sources of transmission. Seven contacts of these Lovu cases have also tested positive.

Dr Fong said out of the 295 cases in the Lami-Suva-Nausori containment zone, 165 were from existing areas of interest and 10 from new clusters: Cost U Less supermarket, Golden Manufacturers, and the Kidney Foundation of Fiji.

“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.”

According to Dr Fong, the four deaths were two women and two men, all in the capital Suva – none of them had been fully vaccinated against covid-19.

A 68-year-old man from Toorak was admitted to the Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH) after presenting to the FEMAT field hospital on June 24 in severe respiratory distress. He tested positive for covid and died on Monday in the intensive care unit.

The man’s doctors had determined his death was caused by the coronavirus, Dr Fong said. He was not vaccinated.

The 39-year-old woman from Knolly St had tested positive and was admitted to CWM Hospital after having severe symptoms of covid-19 at home including shortness of breath.

Not fully vaccinated
She died on Monday in the intensive care unit, and her doctors had determined that her death was caused by covid-19, Dr Fong said, adding that the woman had received her first dose of the vaccine this month but was not fully vaccinated.

A 70-year-old man from Veisari in Lami was in respiratory distress and died at the Raiwaqa Health Centre on Monday night.

“According to protocol, he was swabbed and tested positive. His doctors have determined that his death was caused by Covid-19. He was not vaccinated,” Dr Fong said.

Fiji health officials Dr Aalisha SahuKhan, left, and Dr James Fong.
Fiji health officials Dr Aalisha SahuKhan (left) and Dr James Fong … two women and two men, all in the capital Suva – reported to have died, none of them had been fully vaccinated against covid-19. Photo: Facebook/Fiji govt

The other death was an 82-year-old woman of Qauia in Lami that was previously under investigation to determine if covid-19 was the cause of death.

“She had pre-existing medical conditions, was bedridden, and died at home. According to protocol, she was swabbed and tested positive for covid-19.

“She was declared dead by the attending medical officer and after investigation it has been determined that the cause of death was covid-19. Other members of her household have also tested positive. She was not vaccinated.”

A 54-year-old male, who tested positive for the virus at the CWM Hospital, was admitted for a severe pre-existing non-covid illness.

Dr Fong said his doctors had determined that he had died due to that illness and not from covid-19. He was not vaccinated.

Fiji’s government, which has ruled out imposing a national lockdown, is prioritising vaccination in its response to the outbreak.

Around a third of Fiji’s population of 900,000 have had at least a first dose of a covid-19 vaccine.

Quick facts

  • 312 new confirmed covid-19 cases
  • 17 cases in the Western Division
  • 295 cases in the Lami-Suva-Nausori containment area
  • 21 reported deaths due to covid-19 in Fiji
  • 19 of those deaths were recorded during the outbreak that started in April 2021
  • Nine covid-19 positive patients died from pre-existing non-covid related illnesses that they had been receiving treatment for at the CWM Hospital
  • Since the last update, 29 new recoveries have been reported
  • A total of 3306 people are active cases in isolation
  • There have been 4074 cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021
  • Fiji has recorded a total of 4144 cases since the first case was reported in March 2020, with 808 recoveries.

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

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