25 Jan 2022

Baby, teen among latest Covid-19 deaths in Fiji

7:08 pm on 25 January 2022

A baby and a teenager are among the latest deaths from Covid-19 being reported in Fiji.

They were among 11 new deaths reported today which raised the national tally since the start of the pandemic to 779.

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Photo: 123rf.com

Fiji's Government also confirmed 987 new cases over three days, with 240 of them in the 24 hours to 8am on Monday.

In this latest third wave, 135 people have recovered from Covid-19 in Fiji, but the Health Ministry said there are 2,575 active cases still in isolation.

Health Secretary Dr James Fong said of the latest cases, 656 of them were recorded on 22 January, 81 on 23 January, and 250 cases reported on 24 January.

He said 859 cases were in the Central Division, 62 in the West and 18 cases in the North.

"Overall, there have been 61,898 cases recorded, with 68 percent of the cases from the Central Division, 28 percent from the Western Division, 1 percent of the cases from the Eastern Division and 3 percent from the Northern Division," Dr Fong said in his virus update on Monday night.

Of the Covid-19 deaths reported from 13-23 January, Dr Fong said five deaths were reported in the Central Division, three from the west, two from the east and one from the Northern Division.

He said two of the deceased were below the age of 18 years old "who both had pre-existing conditions from birth that contributed to the severity of their sickness and deaths."

The rest of the victims were aged between 50 and 83, he said.

Dr James Fong.

Dr James Fong. Photo: Fiji govt

"The remaining individuals were at a higher risk of severe disease due to their ages or underlying medical conditions," Dr Fong said.

He said five of the people who died were not vaccinated, one had only received his first dose, three were fully vaccinated and two were not eligible for vaccination.

The four-month-old infant from the Western Division was brought to a remote nursing station on 13 January in a severely weakened state, Dr Fong said.

"He was medically assessed and stabilised by the attending medical staff and a Covid test was done, which was noted to be positive.

"He passed away before he could be transferred to Lautoka Hospital, despite the resuscitation efforts of the attending medical staff.

"Records show that the infant had been born with medical complications and was lost to follow-up."

Dr Fong said the 15-year-old boy was admitted to the Suva Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH) on 17 January.

"He had a significant pre-existing medical condition that contributed to the worsening of his Covid-19 complications. He died on January 19 and was not vaccinated."

Medical worker in Fiji administering a  vaccination.

Photo: Fiji Government Facebook

Dr Fong said the deaths of the two children with underlying health conditions were sad reminders that as cases increased to very high numbers in the community, "our most vulnerable are at higher risk of being infected and suffering from severe disease".

"We know that severe disease is rare in children, but this risk increases should they have significant underlying health conditions."

Dr Fong said the ministry was not able to determine the full impact of coronavirus on a person with severe co-morbidities who had tested positive and died.

He said this could be because many of these deaths are occurring at home or people are presenting very late to the hospitals.

"Trying to work out to what extent did Covid-19 cause the death and to what extent co-morbidities causing the death is not easy. When you talk about expensive- we're talking about the expense in terms of money and in terms of time taken to run one test.

"We have also recorded 756 Covid-19 positive patients who died from other serious medical conditions unrelated to Covid-19; their doctors determined that Covid-19 did not contribute to their deaths, therefore these are not classified as Covid-19 deaths."

Dr Fong said there were 169 Covid-19 patients in hospital, with 78 of them in the central division, 70 in the west and 21 in the eastern division.

Fiji has had 61,968 cases of Covid-19 since March 2020, with 61,898 reported since April 2021. There have been 58,856 recoveries.

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