31 May 2021

29 more Covid-19 cases confirmed in Fiji

7:55 pm on 31 May 2021

Fiji has 29 more Covid-19 cases as health authorities confirmed tonight that the current outbreak which began last month are of the Indian variant or B-1-617-2.

This takes the total number of active cases to 252, the government said.

Health checks are ongoing in Fiji in an effort to combat Covid-19.

Health checks are ongoing in Fiji in an effort to combat Covid-19. Photo: Facebook / Fiji government

Health Secretary Dr James Fong said Fijians had become too "complacent and wishful thinking" in their response to the second wave of the virus.

He said genomic sequencing testing done on positive samples sent to Melbourne had confirmed that B.1.617.2, the variant of concern that was first identified in India, is the only covid variant circulating in Fiji.

More positive case samples since case 158 have been sent to Melbourne for genomic sequencing, Dr Fong added.

"It is very important for everyone to understand how easily this virus is transmitted.

"First, people must remember that they can have the virus and transmit the virus to others even if they show no symptoms.

"Second, our contact tracing makes clear that the average person can come into contact with dozens of other people in the course of a day."

Put those two factors together and you have a formula for significant spread, Dr Fong warned.

He said the Health Ministry had analyzed data this week from 82 people and found that they had 3,444 contacts among them.

Meanwhile, the government is increasing community surveillance in dense-populated neighbourhoods.

"This will be done with our security forces and in some instances will involve creating screening zones especially in densely populated communities that will involve restricting movement while the screening teams do their work," Dr Fong said.

Six more cases were recorded last night (Sunday) and another 23 infected this morning (Monday), all linked to existing clusters: Navy - 15, Nawaka (Nadi) - 9, Waila (Nausori) - 3 and Narere (Nasinu) - 2.

While two active cases are currently in the intensive care unit at the main hospital in Suva, Dr Fong said the latest 29 patients are all stable and isolated in government facilities.

There are currently 258 people with the virus which means 359 have been infected from this outbreak alone to bring the total case count since March 2020 to 429, he said.

Four people have died.