Fiji Registers Record Number of New Covid-19 Cases, One Death and Two New Clusters

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Ward Assistant, Sera Buredrau during set up of Fiji Emergency Medical Assistance Team (FEMAT) facility at Suva's Vodafone Arena June 7, 2021. Photo: Leon Lord.

A 73-year-old patient lost his battle against the deadly coronavirus this week as Fiji’s Ministry of Health confirms a record 121 new cases and further community spread to at least two new clusters.

The latest death is the 3rd covid-19 related death due to the current outbreak, and the 5th overall for Fiji. Two deaths were recorded during the March 2020 outbreak.

The latest report confirms there are now 1043 active cases in isolation, and a total of 1373 registered cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021.

The Health Ministry confirms the latest death was a patient who had been admitted to the Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH) for almost a month now, being treated for a non-COVID related illness, however, he was tested positive 11 days ago.

The Emergency Department at Suva’s Colonial War Memorial Hospital went into lockdown on June 2, 2021. Photo: Leon Lord, Fiji Sun.

As Fiji struggles to bring the community outbreak under control, the latest surge in new cases includes 19 that can be linked to the CWMH cluster while two new clusters have been identified and quarantined off.

First responders and health care workers are under threat with the latest new cluster being at the Town House hotel, where the staff of the Colonial War Memorial Hospital and Fiji’s Incident Management Team (IMT) are being accommodated.

“There are 19 cases within this cluster – likely linked to the CWMH or IMT clusters”, states the latest report.

Another new cluster has been identified within the Rewa Emergency Operations Centre where 2 new cases were reported.

Constable Manueli Laqai and other Fiji police officers man the Sawani checkpoint in Naitasiri, Viti Levu. Image: Jonacani Lalakobau/Fiji Times.

While announcing the surge of new cases, the Fiji Health Ministry confirmed its staff were tired and now vulnerable to contracting the virus.

Secretary of Health James Fong confirms Fiji has sought the assistance of Australia’s AUSMAT team to help the ministry plan for the worst.

“The Australians will provide for contingency beyond our current surge preparations;

“We have extra space to deploy for field hospitals and we have extra critical care capacity we have yet to activate. They come to help us plan beyond that,” he said.

Dr Fong said discussions with Canberra were now advanced and he expected the Australian team to arrive in Fiji soon.

Fiji has recorded a total of 1443 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020. There have been 388 recoveries and 5 deaths due to COVID-19 however a further 7 COVID-19 positive patients have died and according to the Minsitry, from pre-existing non-COVID-19 related illnesses.

Advice to the Public From Fiji Ministry of Health

Our advice to the public remains the same. Please do all you can to protect yourselves and your loved ones from this virus. Stay at home as much as possible. If you have to leave your home: wear a mask, keep at least 2 meters between yourselves and others outside your household, frequently wash your hands with soap and water, or an alcohol based hand sanitizer. Turn on your careFiji App and bluetooth. Behave as if anyone you encounter outside your home may have the virus. Don’t attend social gatherings. Don’t drink grog with anyone outside your household. Don’t invite anyone home. And please get vaccinated. It will reduce your risk of contracting the virus and help protect you from severe disease and death if you do get infected with COVID-19.