More than 200 severe covid-19 cases in Fiji hospitals – 12 critical

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Covid-19 vaccinations in Fiji
People lining up to get their covid-19 vaccinations in Suva, Fiji. Image: RNZ/Fiji govt

RNZ Pacific

Fiji has admitted 240 covid-19 patients to hospital and almost a dozen of them are in critical condition, say health authorities.

This comes amid 657 new cases of the coronavirus for the 24 hours to 8am yesterday.

The government also confirmed three deaths, taking the toll to 299.

That compares with 682 cases and six deaths in the previous 24-hour period.

Health Secretary Dr James Fong said all three victims were not vaccinated.

* An 86-year-old woman from Newtown in Nasinu died at home on August 6.

* A 73-year-old woman from Kinoya, Nasinu, also died at home on August 6.

* A 71-year-old man from Cunningham died at home on August 7.

Dr Fong said that in Suva, 69 patients were admitted at the FEMAT field hospital, and 171 at the CWM, St Giles and Makoi hospitals.

Dr Fong also said that as of August 5, a total of 504,695 adults in Fiji had received their first dose of the vaccine and 170,901 got both jabs.

“This means that 86 percent of the target population have received at least one dose and 29.1 per cent are now fully vaccinated nation-wide.”

Fiji now has 24,138 active cases in isolation, with 299 deaths — 297 of them from this latest outbreak that began in April.

Ministry considers Pfizer vaccine for children
The Health Ministry is exploring the possibility of getting the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 12 to 17, head of Fiji’s Covid-19 vaccination taskforce Dr Rachel Devi said.

Currently, only the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines are in Fiji.

Dr Devi said the Pfizer vaccine was being used to vaccinate children in most countries.

“We know Pfizer has been used for 12-17 years of age so we are definitely exploring the possibility of Pfizer,” Dr Devi said.

“These mRNA vaccines are pretty rare like all vaccines right now. The demand is so high but supply is limited.

“We’ve already had two deaths with children, one a 15-year-old and one an 11-month-old toddler.”

No timeline
Dr Devi could not give a timeline on how soon the Pfizer vaccine would be available to Fiji.

She said it was a tough question because “it just depends on supply and availability. It’s a demand and supply issue and being able to access that.

“I know a lot of countries have solely used Pfizer, some are having mixed vaccination programmes going with different vaccines.”

But Dr Devi said she was hoping to secure the vaccine as early as possible because that would “bring our herd immunity to a better state.”

Dr Devi said they were using support from UNICEF and the COVAX facilities to access the Pfizer vaccines for children.

Briefly

  • 586 new recoveries reported since the last update
  • 19,005 active cases are in the Central Division and 5133 in the West
  • 7-day rolling average of deaths per day is 6.
  • 158 positive patients died from the serious medical conditions that they had before they contracted the virus; these are not classified as covid deaths.
  • 36,909 cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021
  • 36,979 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020
  • 12,384 recoveries since March last year
  • 294,860 samples tested since April 2021
  • 337,721 tested since March 2020
  • 1981 tests reported for 6 August
  • 7-day daily test average is 3010 tests per day or 3.4 tests per 1000 population
  • 7-day average daily test positivity is 31.3 percent — WHO threshold is at five percent.

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

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