COVID-19: Fiji announces record-breaking 791 new cases, three deaths

Fiji recorded three more deaths and a daily record 791 positive cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours ending at 8am Wednesday.

According to the Health Ministry, two of the victims were unvaccinated while the third had received one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Three more people, who tested positive to the virus, had died but their deaths have been classified as non-COVID-19 related and caused by serious pre-existing medical conditions, instead.

Health Secretary Dr James Fong said a 61-year-old man from Qauia Village in Lami near the capital Suva was brought to the Colonial War Memorial Hospital's emergency department in severe respiratory distress.

"He had been experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms including shortness of breath for two weeks. He died one day later. He was not vaccinated."

Dr Fong said a 75-year-old man from Raiwaqa in Suva was declared dead on arrival by the attending medical officer at the CWM Hospital.

This means that he died at home or on his way to the hospital, he said.

"His family reported that he had been unwell with symptoms including fever and generalised weakness for at least five days at home. He was not vaccinated.

"The third death is a 67-year-old man from Toorak, Suva," Dr Fong said.

"A Health Ministry response team attended to him at home and transferred him to the CWM Hospital after he reported having symptoms of COVID-19 at home for a week."

His condition worsened in hospital and he died 11 days after admission, Dr Fong said, adding the man had received his first dose of the vaccine in mid-June.

"He had not received the second dose of the vaccine and was not fully vaccinated."

There have now been 42 deaths due to COVID-19 in Fiji, with 40 of these during the outbreak that started in April this year. The ministry has also recorded 19 positive patients who died from serious medical conditions that they had before they contracted the virus.

"There have been 37 new recoveries reported since the last update, which means that there are now 6524 active cases.

"There have been 7870 cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021. We have recorded a total of 7940 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020, with 1355 recoveries."

Meanwhile, a total of 98 people were arrested in the last 24 hours for breaching curfew orders and health restrictions.

The Southern Division recorded the highest number of cases with 76.

Acting Commissioner of Police, Rusiate Tudravu, said 66 cases were for failure to wear a mask, six for social gathering and four for breach of curfew.