18 Jun 2021

Fiji Covid-19: Frontliner infections continue amid 115 new cases

7:32 pm on 18 June 2021

Fijian health authorities have reported 115 new cases of Covid-19 as infections continue in frontliner communities.

Police ensure Covid-19 protocols are observed by the public.

Police ensure Covid-19 protocols are observed by the public. Photo: Fiji govt

On its first day of reporting from a strict 24-hour period, Permanent Secretary for Health James Fong also announced two new clusters.

He said 52 of the latest cases could be linked to existing cases, but there were continued increases in clusters where frontliners either formed the majority or were the first infections.

The latest death is a 49-year-old man, who was admitted almost a month ago at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH) in Suva where an outbreak at the facility was announced on June 1.

Dr Fong said the man was admitted for a severe condition, but tested positive for Covid-19.

Doctors are currently investigating whether his death was caused or accelerated by the virus, Fong added.

There are eight more new cases from the CWM Hospital and another seven staff have tested positive.

The hospital staff are part of a separate cluster situated at the Townhouse Motel in the city centre where staff are accommodated during their shifts at the hospital.

In Nausori, about 20 kilometres from Suva, another staff member of the Rewa Emergency Operations Centre has been infected. In nearby Nasinu, six more people at the police barracks have also been infected.

Meanwhile, one case was detected at the Fiji Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Services, the government's main pharmaceutical holding complex located in Vatuwaqa, Suva.

It is important to note that there have not been further infections to the Republic of Fiji Military Forces clusters at its Queen Elizabeth Barracks headquarters and the Naval Division.

However, new clusters included eight cases at the Max Value Supermarket in Lami Town, outside Suva, which had been Covid-free for most of this latest outbreak and at a low-cost housing complex in Raiwai, a suburb near the city.

Acting Permanent Secretary for Health, James Fong

Acting Permanent Secretary for Health, James Fong Photo: Fiji Govt

Of the 50 new community transmission cases that the authorities are trying to link to clusters, seven of them were detected at the Health Ministry's Screening centres in Valelevu, Nasinu; Nuffield in Tamavua and Raiwaqa another suburb near Suva. One case was detected at the Nadi Hospital.

Another 21 people were found to be primary contacts of previous cases, but investigations continue to determine cluster links, Dr Fong said.

Another 22 community transmissions under investigations are from Naqio Settlement in Rewa (2), Nadave (1), Nausori Village (7), Naulu (4), Omkar Rd, Narere (1), Valenicina, Lami (1), Verata, Nausori (1), Milverton Road, Raiwaqa (1), Qauia, Lami (2) and Naduru Rd in Nausori with one positive case.

Despite growing case numbers, Dr Fong said the ministry had made "excellent progress in our vaccination effort".

He said 43 percent of the target population of 650,00 people had received their first dose and 2.1 percent was now fully vaccinated.

"That is a total of 252,791 people who have received at least one dose and 12,246 who are fully vaccinated.

"We are moving steadily to the outcome. We want having 80 percent of our adult population vaccinated.

"We encourage all Fijians to arrange to get vaccinated as soon as you can."

There are now 1,182 active cases in isolation and 1578 cases are from this Delta Variant outbreak which began mid-April.

Fiji has had 1,648 cases since March 2020.

But Dr Fong said 452 patients had recovered and six certified covid deaths had been reported. Seven Covid-positive patients had died from pre-existing conditions.