Fiji deaths ‘a stark reminder’ of the seriousness of the pandemic

Fiji Health Secretary Dr James Fong
Fiji Health Secretary Dr James Fong ... “Building resilience means that we must adopt healthier lifestyles." Image: Jonaci Lalakobau/The Fiji Times File

By Luke Rawalai in Suva

Fiji has recorded 987 covid-19 cases, says Ministry of Health permanent secretary Dr James Fong who says the latest deaths are a “stark reminder” of the seriousness of the pandemic.

Fiji’s government reported on Monday 11 more people had died from covid-19, including a four-month-old girl and 15-year-old boy.

Dr Fong said 656 cases were recorded last Saturday while 81 new cases were recorded on Sunday and 250 new cases in the past 24 hours ending at 8am on Monday morning.

Dr Fong said it was known there remained a high risk of resurgence of endemic variants and the arrival of new variants.

“Our socioeconomic survival depends on our ability to build and sustain individual and community-wide resilience. We should expect that covid-19 will be endemic, however we need to appreciate that ‘endemic’ doesn’t mean harmless,” he said.

“Endemic means that we expect continued circulation of the disease in the community, the baseline levels of which are yet to be determined.

“Leptospirosis, typhoid and dengue are endemic in Fiji and they are associated with serious outcomes, especially when the number of cases increases to outbreak levels.

“Building resilience means that we must adopt healthier lifestyles, make covid-safe behaviour a habit that we adopt and support others to adopt. Our objective is to live with the virus and, at the same time, ensure a high level of transmission suppression and prevention of severe outcomes.”

Luke Rawalai is a Fiji Times journalist. Republished with permission.

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