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Covid-19 Fiji: The worst is over – Govt

Monday 31 January 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in Fiji, Regional

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Covid-19 Fiji: The worst is over – Govt
.. Photo: Facebook/Fiji govt

Fiji has been through the worst phase of its third wave of the coronavirus, health authorities say, amid soaring deaths and infections across the country.

Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong said the medical data confirmed this.

Dr Fong said Fiji was seeing a sustained decrease in the number of Covid-related admissions in hospitals.

He said various employers could also vouch for this decreasing trend "as there is less Covid-related absenteeism from work."

But he stressed the Covid-safe measures must continue in the immediate and medium-term to protect the most vulnerable in the communities.

"We have seen relatively low rates of hospitalisation and death in this wave, due to our high rate of vaccination. And we did not have to create extra space in our treatment facilities of mortuaries."

Dr Fong said 798 people had died from Covid-19 since the pandemic hit Fiji in March 2020.

He said majority were unvaccinated, had severe comorbidities and died while at home or on their way to the hospital.

Dr Fong said this trend showed the next stage of the government's response would need to involve a more holistic view of the medical realties Fiji faced.

..
.. Photo: Fiji Health Ministry

Seven more deaths, 146 new cases

In its latest update on the Covid-19 situation last weekend, Fiji's Health Ministry reported that seven people had died from the virus.

This brings the death toll to 798 - 796 since April 2021.

There were 146 new cases confirmed in the community.

Dr Fong said people who were eligible to get vaccinated against Covid-19 must do so.

He said this included Fijians who were yet to receive their booster shot.

Fiji has 1851 Covid cases in isolation with 129 of them in hospital in critical condition.

The ministry also said 92 percent of Fiji's adult population had been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, while 98 percent were yet to receive their second dose of the vaccine.

There are 41,216 children aged 12 to 17 fully vaccinated, the ministry stated, with 59,027 having received their first dose.

Children and teens being vaccinated in Fiji.
Children and teens being vaccinated in Fiji. Photo: Supplied/ Fijian government

One booster shot is needed - MOH

The ministry was aware of the need for only one Covid-19 booster dose, said Dr Fong.

Dr Fong said Fijians would not need have a booster every six months.

"So far, the only recommendation we are aware of is one booster with Moderna or Pfizer."

Dr Fong said vulnerable groups in the communities were at an increased 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.

"By vaccinating and maintaining our Covid-safe measures, we protect the vulnerable among us."

Dr Fong also reiterated the need for the public to be aware of the symptoms of severe Covid-19 disease, and early presentation to a health facility when severe symptoms were present, were critical protection measures that every individual should know and act upon.