Fiji reports 715 new COVID-19 cases as death toll passes 200

Health checks are ongoing in Fiji.
Health checks are ongoing in Fiji in an effort to combat COVID. Photo credit: Facebook / Fiji government

Fiji has recorded 715 cases of COVID-19 and 11 deaths - including an unvaccinated health worker - in the last 24 hours to 8am yesterday.

That compares to the record 1285 cases and nine deaths in the previous 24-hour period.

The government also confirmed last night that all but two of the victims were unvaccinated.

The death toll now stands at 204.

Health Secretary Doctor James Fong said the latest deaths had occurred between 22 and 27 July.

  • A 46-year-old healthcare worker from the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in the capital Suva presented to the hospital's Emergency Department in severe respiratory distress on 26 July. She reported having a fever and cough for five days. Her condition worsened and she died two days later.
  • A 65-year-old man from Makoi in Nasinu died at home on 26 July.
  • A 74-year-old woman from Lami near Suva also died at home on 26 July.
  • A 71-year-old woman from Davuilevu Housing in Nausori died at home on 26 July.
  • A 66-year-old woman from Caubati, Nasinu, also died at home on 26 July.
  • A 79-year-old woman from Lami died at home on 22 July.
  • A 75-year-old man from Samabula, Suva, presented to the CWM Hospital emergency department in severe respiratory distress on 25 July. His condition worsened in the hospital and he died on the same day.
  • A 62-year-old woman from Suva presented to the CWM Hospital emergency department in severe respiratory distress on 26 July. Her condition worsened in the hospital and she died two days later.
  • A 67-year-old man from Korovisilou in Sigatoka presented to the CWM Hospital emergency department in severe respiratory distress on 26 July. His condition worsened in the hospital and he died four days later.
  • A 63-year-old woman from Nausori presented to a medical facility in severe respiratory distress. A medical team brought her to the FEMAT field hospital on 27 July. But her condition worsened and she died.
  • A 69-year-old man from Nadera, Nasinu, presented to the FEMAT field hospital in severe respiratory distress on 24 July. A medical team brought him to the CWM Hospital. His condition worsened in the hospital and he died two days later.

One other COVID-positive patient had died, however Dr Fong said her death was not caused by the virus but due to a serious pre-existing medical condition.

"The seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 deaths per day is seven. We also have recorded 102 positive patients who died from the serious medical conditions they had before they contracted COVID-19; these are not classified as COVID deaths."

Dr Fong said 97 of the latest cases were from the Western Division and 618 from the Central Division.

"There have been 128 new recoveries reported since the last update, which means that there are now 18,512 active cases, 16,518 are in the Central Division and 1994 in the west.

"All cases that were recorded in the Northern and Eastern Divisions (cases that were imported from Viti Levu) have recovered and there are no active cases currently in those divisions.

"There have been 25,069 cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021. We have recorded a total of 25,139 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020, with 6319 recoveries."

Dr Fong said a total of 6811 individuals had been screened and 1147 swabbed at stationary screening clinics in the last 24 hours, bringing the "cumulative total to 365,736 individuals screened and 67,586 swabbed to date.

"As of the 25 July, our mobile screening teams screened a total of 5542 individuals and swabbed 586. This brings our cumulative total to 747,412 individuals screened and 66,354 swabbed by our mobile teams.

"A total of 256,776 samples have been tested since this outbreak started in April 2021, with 299,637 tested in March 2020. 2831 tests have been reported for Sunday July 25.

"Testing numbers are below the average as the laboratory at Fiji CDC was closed for essential maintenance work on the morning of Sunday July 25."

Dr Fong said Fiji's seven-day daily test average is 3401 tests per day or 3.8 tests per 1000 population. The national seven-day average daily test positivity is 26.3 percent, more than four times the World Health Organisation (WHO) threshold.

As of the 26 July, Dr Fong said 449,934 Fijians had received their first dose of the vaccine and 103,742 both jabs.

"This means that 76.7 percent of the target population have received at least one dose and 17.7 percent are now fully vaccinated.

"Fijians can check the Ministry's vaccine dashboard to find real-time data on first-dose and second-dose numbers at the national, divisional and sub-divisional levels."

Dr Fong said the seven-day average of new cases per day is 827 or 934 cases per million population.

He said daily case numbers remained high including the daily test positivity rate, indicating ongoing widespread community transmission in the Suva-Nausori containment zone.

Cases are also increasing in the Western Division, Dr Fong said.

"Community transmission within the Suva-Nausori containment zone is at a very high level. This means that anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 in these areas should assume that they have the virus.

"Most people infected with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms like cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever, loss of taste or smell, body ache, or headache, and will fully recover at home with no medical intervention necessary.

"People who have any of these symptoms and are not within a group that is at higher risk for developing severe COVID-19 will no longer be tested for the coronavirus and should stay at home, strictly self-isolate for 14 days and continue to monitor your symptoms for severe COVID.

"If you develop any signs of severe COVID-19 such as difficulty breathing or chest pain, please go immediately to one of our dedicated health facilities."

Fiji now has 18,512 active cases in isolation, with 206 deaths - 204 of them from this latest outbreak that began in April.