Fiji’s Covid-19 Third Wave Alert

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Fiji has reported one death and 309 new cases of Covid-19 in the community – 194 of them confirmed in the 24 hours to 8am on Wednesday.

This brings the total number of active cases to 780 as health authorities tackle a third wave of the coronavirus outbreak across the country.

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The Government also confirmed that out of the latest cases, 115 were recorded on 28 December.

“We have recorded 619 Covid-19 positive patients who died from serious medical conditions they had before they contracted Covid-19,” said Health Secretary James Fong. “These are not classified as Covid-19 deaths.

“Of the 194 cases recorded in the last 24 hours, 136 cases were in the Northern Division; 6 in the Western Division including 4 cases from border quarantine, 46 in the Central Division and 6 cases were recorded in the Eastern Division.

Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong says it is “likely….we just need statistical definition to be achieved”.

“We are expecting escalated levels of community transmission to be more evident over the ensuing weeks.”

“We are working on the assumption that the Omicron variant is already in Fiji and is being transmitted within the community.”

“We expect that genomic sequencing results of positive samples sent overseas will bear this out.”

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He said the current increase in Covid-19 cases represents the beginnings of the third wave of Covid-19 in Fiji.

Dr Fong is urging Fijians to get their booster shots and not to let their guards down.

He said people should always follow all COVID-19 restrictions because the recent spike of COVID-19 cases was very worrying.

“We cannot afford complacency in our individual COVID-19 safe habits at this time.”

“During these pandemic times, it is best that you remain at home and celebrate with your loved ones, rather than gather in large numbers and potentially put at risk the vulnerable members of your families; including those who are unvaccinated.”

Meanwhile, a resort in the Western Division, has advised their guests that several guests have tested positive of COVID-19 and are isolating in their rooms

“We need to be boosted. We have had positive travellers who tested negative pre-departure, but positive here.”

“We will need to make the pre-departure test to be within 48 hours rather than 72 hours,” Dr Fong said.

“All their positive samples will be sent to our partner laboratory in Australia for genomic sequencing.”

“If a variant is transmissible enough, stringent border and community measures will only delay the inevitable entry and spread of current and future variants of the COVID-19 virus.”

“As of 29 December, 92.1 percent of Fiji’s adult population are fully vaccinated while 97.8 percent have yet to receive their second dose of the vaccine.”

Dr Fong said 39,954 children aged 12-17 were vaccinated, while 58,283 teenagers are yet to get their second injection.

By Wati Talebula, Fiji Sun & RNZ News