Covid-19 infections and deaths soar in Fiji – total now 80

Fiji covid testing queue
Fiji's daily testing covid-19 positivity rate is now 19.2 - far above the WHO recognised rate of 5. Image: Fiji govt/RNZ

RNZ Pacific

Fiji has recorded a daily record 1405 new cases of covid-19 in the 24 hours to 8am on Friday.

That compares to 1220 cases and 10 deaths in the previous 24-hour period.

The government also confirmed six more deaths last night, taking the death toll to 80 – 78 of these from the latest outbreak that began in April.

Health Secretary Dr James Fong said all six patients were unvaccinated.

“A 58-year old man from Tacirua presented to a medical facility on Wednesday with severe covid symptoms including shortness of breath. His condition worsened at the health centre and he died on the same day.

“An 82-year-old man from Waila presented to a health facility in severe respiratory distress. He was retrieved by a medical team to the Colonial War Memorial Hospital.”

Dr Fong said the man’s condition worsened at the CWM Hospital and he died two days after admission on July 12.

Unwell with symptoms
His family reported that he had been unwell with symptoms that included fever, and cough, Dr Fong said.

“The third covid-19 death to report is a 34-year-old man from Koronivia also presented to a health facility in severe respiratory distress on July 12. His condition worsened at the centre and he died on the same day.

“A 68-year-old man from Valelevu presented to the CWM Hospital with covid symptoms on July 14. His condition worsened in the hospital and he died on the same day he was admitted.

“The fifth death is a 76-year-old woman from Narere who presented to a healthcare facility with severe covid symptoms including shortness of breath. She was retrieved by a medical team to CWM Hospital on July 12 where her condition worsened and she died on the same day.

“A 92-year-old man from Ba was retrieved by a medical team from an isolation facility and transferred to Lautoka Hospital. His condition worsened in hospital and he died four days after being admitted on July 15.”

Dr Fong said three other people, who tested positive to the virus, had died but their deaths have been classified as due to serious pre-existing medical conditions and not caused by covid-19.

Fiji vaccinations
Sixty six percent of the target population in Fiji have received at least one dose and 12.9 percent are now fully vaccinated nationwide. Image: Fiji govt/RNZ

More than 11,000 positive people in isolation
Six other deaths are under investigation, he said.

“We also recorded 34 ovid-19 positive patients who died from the serious medical conditions that they had before they contracted the virus; these are not classified as Covid-19 deaths.

“There have been 470 new recoveries reported since the last update, which means that there are now 11,959 active cases. There have been 15,221 cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021.

“We have recorded a total of 15,291 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020, with 3,218 recoveries.”

Dr Fong said a total of 10,356 individuals were screened and 1893 swabbed at stationary screening clinics in the last 24 hours, bringing the cumulative total to 312,572 individuals screened and 52,386 swabbed to date.

“Our mobile screening teams screened a total of 4,197 individuals and swabbed 435 in the last 24 hours. This brings our cumulative total to 712,328 individuals screened and 60,855 swabbed by our mobile teams to date.”

Dr Fong said a total of 216,869 samples have been tested since this outbreak started in April 2021, with 259,734 tested since testing began in March 2020.

“3678 tests have been reported for July 14. Testing number data for one lab is pending for July 13-14. Based on available testing numbers, the national 7-day daily test average is 3943 tests per day or 4.5 tests per 1000 population.

“These numbers are expected to increase once all lab testing number data is received. The national 7-day average daily test positivity is 19.2 percent and continues on an upward trend.”

The World Health Organisation’s test positivity threshold is five percent.

As of the 15 July, 384,480 adults in Fiji have received their first dose of the vaccine and 75,448 have received their second doses, Dr Fong said.

“This means that 66 percent of the target population have received at least one dose and 12.9 percent are now fully vaccinated nation-wide.

“Fijians can check the Ministry’s vaccine dashboard to find real-time data on first-dose and second-dose numbers at the national, divisional and sub-divisional levels.

“The 7-day average of new cases per day is 824 cases per day or 932 cases per million population per day. Average daily case numbers are increasing, together with cases of severe disease and deaths.”

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

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